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Christmas Trees (3 replies)

For our entire lives, my wife and I have always had fake Christmas trees.  Finally, we have decided to get a live Christmas tree this year.  The problem is, we know nothing about buying a live Christmas tree.  So we would like to ask for some advice:

1)  Overall (considering selection, tree freshness / durability, price, etc.), when is the best time to purchase a Christmas tree?  Is it better to get it around Thanksgiving, or should we wait until closer to Christmas?

2)  Where should I go to buy a tree?  Should I go to a Christmas tree lot, Target, Lowes, etc.?

3)  Are there options I should get?  I'm not even sure what the options are.  Do they have fire retardant spray, or anything like that?

4)  What is the best base to buy and where should I get it?  I've checked on the internet and there are expensive ones that run up to $79!  That expensive one swivels and comes with a water reservoir.  Do I need all of that, or is it good enough to just mount the tree to two pieces of wood crossed together like an "X"?

5)  Anything else I need to know?

Thanks for any tips you can give us!

King Ct.

Posted – 12/03/05 11:32am by Lynn R Slater, updated or replied 12/03/05 11:34am

Now have artificial tree
We got tired of paying for trees, thus we now have artificial tree (After Christmas sale at Target 50% off).  $79 is cheap!  I believe the trees are all cut the same time, so the sooner you buy it and and get it in water the better.  It is very important to not let the water dry out, or it may seal and not absorb more water.   Definately need a water resevoir unless you get it the last minute and it's up less than a week. The swivel stand is great for decorating... especially when putting the lights on.   Young Life has a Christmas lot, so the profits stay local (there are probably other non-profits that have lots too).  Your choices are basically 2 kinds of tree, one is cheaper than the other, but it all depends on what you like.  I prefer the more expensive one (I forget the names of each), as the limbs are sturdier, the needles shorter and you can see your ornaments better.  Flocking is an option (looks like snow)... very messy and you can't recycle the tree.  Fire retardant not necessary if you keep the tree well watered, check lights are in good shape and don't leave the lights on when you're not home.  The taller the tree the more expensive.  Another option is a live tree that you can then plant in your yard.  Some folks like to travel to a Christmas tree farm (look on internet) and go and chop their own down.
Wendy Lee
Posted – 12/03/05 11:33am by Lynn R Slater

Christmas Trees
The two most popular trees for Christmas decorating appear to be the Scotch Pine (long needles in clusters thus a full-looking tree) and the Douglas Fir (the more expensive one, with shorter needles all along each branch - thus ornaments are more easily seen as well as the individual branches). Usually after you get one home, you still need to saw off the first inch or two since often some of those trees may have been sitting in the lot awhile..
After Christmas use, the trees can be recycled in two ways that I know of: ONE through the Boy Scouts who come and pick them up whole from your house for a donation of I think it was $5 --- or TWO if cut into sections to fit in your green waste cart, will be taken away as regular yard waste. However if you have the tree flocked with that artificial snow stuff (!?) then you can't recycle it, is my understanding.
The swivel stand is worth the "investment" esp. if you plan on having a live tree year after year.. cost ranges from $60 - 80, but because of the swivel, after you mount the tree in the stand, you simply step on the pedal to release the internal clamp/bucket so that it moves, and adjust the tree as you like it, as far as degree of tilt and which side you want to rotate for best appearance in your living room (or wherever you've placed it). For longevity you will need to check the water level every morning and top it off as needed.. if your tree isn't sucking up significant amounts of water, you're in trouble.. lol.. however.. nothing beats the fragrance of a live tree.
If you plan to transport the tree on top of your vehicle, get a sturdy rope, and use an old sheet or tarp to cover the top of your car - you don't want sticky sap marring the finish of the paint.
I think that's my ten cents' worth of suggestion.. we've bought our tree from various places, incl. places that benefit FEF, or our church, or in the past we went to a tree farm (out at the end of Redwood Rd I think it was) in Hayward/Castro Valley and cut it ourselves - they supply the saws!
Adcock Dr.
Posted – 12/03/05 11:34am by Lynn R Slater

Home Depot

We have purchased our tree from Home Depot for the past 5 years and
have been happy with each one.  We like to buy the Noble Fir because
it is more open and the needles hold my heavier ornaments much
better.  Otherwise the softer needle trees cause most ornaments to
slip off and break!!  The Noble Fir is usually most expensive of the

The lot attendants will cut off an inch from the bottom of the tree so
that it will take in water once you get it home and in the stand
(which must have a water reservoir).  They will also help with tying
the tree up with a net and loading it on your car top.
We have searched the various nurseries in the past and were
disappointed with the over pricing and quality for our money.  We will
stick with Home Depot in Union City or Fremont.

Good luck and Merry Christmas!

Posted – 12/03/05 11:34am by Lynn R Slater

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