Buying your first farm-grown Christmas tree

Consider these tips for relieving the stress of buying and setting up your farm-grown Christmas tree this holiday season.

When selecting a farm-grown Christmas tree, make sure it is green and the needles don't fall off too easily.

When selecting a farm-grown Christmas tree, make sure it is green and the needles don't fall off too easily.

Selecting the perfect Christmas tree can be a fun and memorable tradition, particularly if you take into account some important considerations. Before setting out to get your tree, determine where in your house the tree will be located, the size of tree you need and whether all sides will be displayed. When selecting a precut tree, make sure that the tree is fresh by testing how firmly the needles are attached to the branches. The easiest way to evaluate this is to lightly grasp the branch of the tree and gently pull the branch and needles through your hand. If the tree is fresh, very few needles will come off. Of course, if you are cutting a tree yourself, you will still want to look the tree over carefully for signs of overall quality. Needles should not shed easily or be discolored.

For safety, place the Christmas tree well away from heat registers, space heaters, fireplaces, wood stoves, televisions and other heat and ignition sources. When using decorations or trimmings, always keep small children and pets in mind, and make sure the tree is sturdily mounted in its stand. Electric lights should be checked thoroughly for safety and defects before use by looking for frayed wires, broken sockets or loose connections. Use only UL approved electrical decorations and extension cords. Do not leave tree lights on when the tree is unattended.Finally, the tree is ready to decorate and be the centerpiece of your new holiday tradition!

Want to find a Christmas tree farm near you? Visit the Michigan Christmas Tree Association website to see choose and cut farms, retail lots, and wholesale farms in your area!

More information on selecting and caring for your Christmas tree from MSU Extension

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Dr. Cregg’s work is funded in part by MSU‘s AgBioResearch.

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