How to pick out the perfect christmas tree

Dec 17, 2010

Whether you’re going to a corner lot or snowshoeing into the backcountry – picking the perfect Christmas tree can be daunting. We tracked down a certified Christmas tree expert and have this primer on how to care for evergreen trees.

James Freed works for Washington State University in Olympia. He’s been judging Christmas trees in contests since the 70s.

He says no matter what kind of tree you chose, make sure it’s fresh. Shake the tree or run your hands gently over the branches and see how many needles fall off. If it’s just a few brown needles, you’re golden.

But if there’s lots of green ones falling to your feet, back away from that tree. It’s too dry. Question number two...

 “… Is it free of any insects? And this is really important because if you bring a tree in the house and it happens to have a hornets’ nest in it or any other kinds of insects. It warms up, and they’re going to think it’s spring and they’re going to enjoy your house as much as you do,” says James Freed.

Freed says while Douglas Firs are the most popular Christmas trees, Nobel Firs usually hold their needles better. And Grand Firs will smell great, but lose much of their green within a week.

If you still have more questions before you go on your tree hunt, write to WSU’s Christmas tree expert James Freed .