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I've never had a real Christmas tree

(16 Posts)
CatsGoPurrrr Sat 03-Sep-16 08:09:04


I know it's early to be thinking about this!

I've never had a real tree. Ever. Always growing up I've had an artificial tree and when I moved out, kept up with that.

This year, I'm thinking, actually would love, a real tree but i don't really know what I need.

What sort of tree is best? I don't really want a bushy one. Do I need a bucket to pit it in or do they come ready-to-stand? Also, how long do they last? I normally put the tree up two weeks before. Is this to early with a real tree?

I'd appreciate any advice/tips, please.

I'm sorry if these questions sound really stupid.


Heirhelp Sat 03-Sep-16 08:12:57

We normAlly out our up the first weekend in December and take it down just before I go back to school and we don't have any problem with dropping neddles. We do switch off the radiator behind it. You can get a stand for it

Really life trees are not as bushy as fake ones, they just don't grow that way.

Chillywhippet Sat 03-Sep-16 08:28:43

The Norwegian? Trees have longer shorter needles and don't shed much, especially if you don't bake them near a radiator or fire.

The traditional trees have shorter sharper needles and drop more especially when you come to drag the beast out of the house!

A friend of mine always chooses these because they smell lovely and look lovely in her Victorian house. I unusually have a Norwegian type as don't like the traditional pine needles still stabbing my feet in March (obis not a domestic goddess).

Always best to see tree upright and unwrapped before you buy. If it's in the netting you can't see the shape or size. It is much easier to get a netted tree into your house than the unnetted one out wink

Measure your ceiling height before you set off and allow for the stand and the star or Angel on the top. Sawing a tree to fit your house does take the edge of the fun and it's easy to pick a huge one in the forest grin

Going to the forestry at the start of December to choose the tree (always a huge discussion), have a hot chocolate (always freezing), strap the beast to the car and then pub lunch before heading home was part of our Christmas routine when the kids were small.

Lying in living room staring at twinkly lights is one of the best bits of it all for me. if you don't like it you can revert back next year

Chillywhippet Sat 03-Sep-16 08:30:15

Sorry Norwegian trees have longer SOFTER needles

Not longer shorter. Must get out of bed and find glasses

CurlsLDN Sat 03-Sep-16 08:47:40

When you go to the Christmas tree farm/shop/yard they will have a few different types of trees, which will either be grouped in sections, or have coloured tags on so you know which is which.

There will be big signs explaining the benefits of the different types- eg smells better, darker green, non drop. (Always pay the few pounds extra for non drop!)

Then you go to the type you have decided you want, and one by one pull out the ones that are roughly the height you want (they will be labelled in feet) and thus you choose one that is the correct bushiness/shape for your home.

There will be lots of friendly assistants about who can help you through that process, or you can do it yourself. The picking is the best bit! And you have to have a good humoured family argument over whether to get the giant tree or the sensible one.

When you've chosen an assistant will take the tree from you and bag it up in a mesh. Some places put their trees into a slice of log as a base, while others leave them be and sell the plastic bases seperately. Either way you'll be able to get everything you need there and then, with advice from the assistant on how best to care for that variety of tree.

Then you just have to fit it in the car!

Can you tell I love this process? It's one of my fave bits of Christmas tradition, and I love that my son might be old enough to help us choose this year!

CatsGoPurrrr Sat 03-Sep-16 08:49:57

Brilliant. Thanks for all the advice.

Am I right in thinking that the branches are more bendy than a fake tree? So less is more with the baubles?

CurlsLDN Sat 03-Sep-16 08:52:22

Yes they can be near the top, but how many baubles do you put on each branch?!

I reckon I probably put one bauble per 5 branches - remember a real tree probably has many more branches than a fake one!

CurlsLDN Sat 03-Sep-16 08:55:36

Also, if you're on any local fb groups, it's worth asking for recommendations of where to get the tree nearer the time. Since the Christmas tree yards pop up in all sorts of odd places you generally can't google them or know if they are good, but there will be ones near you that come every year and have good quality trees at good prices.
(I have found that real trees are generally about £10per foot, in London and Devon)

JasperDamerel Sat 03-Sep-16 09:03:21

I like Fraser Firs for the type of tree - they are narrower than the really bushy ones (Nordmann, I think) but have soft needles which stay on.

You can buy your tree and leave it outside with the netting removed until you are ready to put it up.

It will shed needles, but smell wonderful.

If the tree hasn't been freshly cut, you are supposed to slice a bit off the bottom of the trunk so that it will suck up water. If you don't have it up for too long, and it is the sort that doesn't shed lots, you don't have to bother.

It's worth having a saw and secateurs handy, because sometimes you will need to saw off the bottom branches to fit the tree into the stand.

CandyMcJingles Sat 03-Sep-16 09:11:43

Real Christmas trees are lovely. But I've only done it one. £50 and you throw it away - whereas my artificial one is free and reusable and also looks brilliant. It's one I've had forever.
I've a John Lewis lit twiggy tree too but that's up all year round in the porch.
I toy with the idea of a wooden tree but they seem expensive.

Yika Sat 03-Sep-16 09:17:51

For me the main attraction of a real christmas tree is the smell - unfortunately the traditional type (Norway spruce I think) which has the fabulous smell does lose its needles. I wouldn't put it up too much in advance. The others like Nordmann could go up 2 weeks in advance without problems I think. I love Christmas trees! They come on their own stand usually.

val4 Sat 03-Sep-16 10:16:03

We always have fresh tree. First weekend in December we go to local tree farm and all pick/argue about best tree. All 4 kids say it's their kick off to the season and love it(eldest 16 now!). Make sure it's not too big as its hard to judge out in open air. I use dh as guide...he's 6.2 grin. We also use a container that holds can get them in most garden centres, and from 2ND week I add sugar to water! It always lasts until after Christmas and is essential part of festive traditions!

HungryHorace Sat 03-Sep-16 15:49:25

I had my first real tree last year. I bought a potted one with roots and it's currently sitting in my garden waiting for December when it'll come back in!

It's grown a bit over the year, so is now light and dark green! (This photo is a few months''s even more sprouty now!)

SoftSheen Sat 03-Sep-16 15:58:52

Get a pot-grown tree (not one which has been uprooted and put in a pot). They are a bit more expensive, but will shed fewer needles and can be used year after year if you put them in your garden in between Christmases and take care of them.

I love real Christmas trees, would never have an artificial one!

HeyManIJustWantSomeMuesli Sat 03-Sep-16 16:03:33

I have nothing to add except your thread title made my eyebrows go sad and also... do it do it do it, get a real tree, one that smells fantastic and try and find somewhere where there are still growing until you choose and they cut it for you/you cut it or as PP said get a pot-grown one - it doesn't really matter about which type holds its needles better if it is freshly cut/alive.

Chrisinthemorning Sat 03-Sep-16 16:07:46

Neither have I. Might get one this year if DH fancies it.

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