First timer with a real christmas tree. I need to know everything.(19 Posts)
So my fake Christmas tree has had its day and sadly not fit for purpose anymore.
I'm seriously considering a real Christmas tree but have NEVER had one before so have no idea what to do with one. I'm thinking of getting one 5 to 6.5 feet tall.
I have listed some questions below but really need to know everything there is to know from any real Christmas tree experts out there!
Firstly is this week too early for a real tree in a south facing warm lounge?
Is there a type/breed better than others?
Do I put it in a plant pot/bucket of water or what??? (used to stand with fake tree).
Will I get a rash when decorating it?
Do you prune it to fit its space? (worried about width at bottom)
And how much can you expect to pay for a decent tree?
We just got a Nordman fir from Homebase for £42 for 7 foot tree. Have used b&q and asda in the past which were slightly cheaper and still good.
Nordman fir is a pretty standard non drop and not too prickly.
You have to saw an inch or so off the trunk and place it in a stand with water, this will keep the tree fresh for longer. Try to keep it away from radiators.
Real trees are lovely and it's so much fun choosing the perfect one!
You don't have to prune it you just have to spend some time finding one which is a good shape and size for your space. This is easier to do when they haven't pre wrapped the trees and you can then get the staff to net the tree when you've chosen one.
Nutcracker has most of the info but you will need a stand which holds water and fill it up regularly, at first it will need loads but after a few days won't need it so often, think once a day instead of twice
We have high ceilings but small rooms so width at the bottom is an issue for us, pruning would be tricky to get right I think. We get round it by buying a 5' Nordmann and putting it on a table in a corner (it's a coffee table in the gap between the end of the sofa and the alcove next to the fireplace). Cheaper than a 7' one and the diameter at the bottom is much smaller. Usually costs about £36 I think.
Get a Cinco stand like this
Shop around for the right size for your tree, prices vary a lot. Keep the reservoir topped up and your tree will be fine.
It will need to stand in water. You can improvise with a bucket filled with stones but it's easiest if you buy a special Christmas tree stand which adjusts for the width of the trunk. Put some water in the base and top it up every couple of days.
It's quite early to bring it in now but you might be ok if you have a low needle drop variety like Nord Mann fir. I find ones with the thicker needles are more resistant to needle dropping. The downside is they don't tend to smell as pine-y as the more droppy ones.
You might get a rash - some people do. Only one way to find out!
You can prune it if you want and use any prunings in a vase on a table with some decorations hung on.
Prices will vary enormously. Morrisons are selling cut nordmann firs about 5foot high for £15 which seems like a good deal. Got mine today but I'm keeping it outside until next weekend.
Thank you everyone. Will have to rummage in the garage to see if I can find a saw for the bottom!!
I had a real tree one year and I can still imagine that beautiful smell, but by crikey there were so many spiders and bugs on it I never did it again.
If you're in an apartment think about how you'll dispose of it! The first year we dragged ours down the stairs from our first floor living room making a horrendous mess in the process. The next year and thereafter we chucked it out the window (obviously with someone underneath to make sure it didn't catch and pedestrians unawares).
Oh and saw off the base, put it in the stand and wherever in the room you want it before taking the net wrapping off. Makes everything much easier.
There's lots of good advice here, and I will probably end up overlapping it a bit, but here's my tuppence worth:
We buy it reasonably early in December to get a good tree. But stand it in a bucket of water in the back garden for a week or so to get a good drink and keep it cool for longer. (And a chance for any creepy crawlies to crawl off!!). If we have had it in a "stocking net" covering to transport it, we take that off as soon as we get home, to let the branches spring back out again and fall into a lovely tree shape.
On a weekend day, around a week-10 days before Christmas, we will saw a couple of inches off the base of the trunk, to let freshly opened bark drink better indoors. (Trees drink by sucking water up through their bark not the trunk itself). And do any other tidying up needed (like more trunk gone if it's too tall, or taking a couple of inches off the top stem, or any absolutely necessary clipping of branches - but generally we don't trim the branches, just worry that it won't hit the ceiling).
We then put the stand on the trunk outdoors. We have an American dish stand - which screws into the trunk to keep it solid, but has a bowl underneath that holds a good drink of water. (Water comes later once indoors).
Then we open the doors wide, bring the tree in base first, and get it settled in place. Once we have decided which way to turn it, we fill the watering bowl with tepid water (not freezing cold - to try and avoid shocking it too much) and let it settle in the room for an hour or so while we all warm up again.
Then we decorate it as normal, and the only difference to fake tree years is that we have to fill the bowl with water every day (or maybe 2 - but they tend to be thirsty and the more you keep it watered, the better the chance of keeping the needles).
If you are keeping it in the garden until you are ready to bring it in...... put it in water..... don't just wait until you've brought it in.
nutcracker that's an amazing price! I was at expensive tree farm yesterday and my goodness that would have been well over hundred there!! Homebase tree let us down once last year but had them for a decade, we used to use nectar points, shame they stopped that but we will probably use them again.
Oh, if you have any kind of allergy to pine resin etc, just do the work of setting it up wearing a decent pair of rubber gloves and a long sleeved top. And maybe keep wearing the rubber gloves if you can work in them doing the decorations if you are particularly sensitive - although DH does have such an allergy and is generally fine doing the Christmas tree decorations once he has used gloves for the outdoors part.
Get a really good stand: Krinner.
I have a pine allergy and have never had a problem with Christmas trees.
Tip: put down some sort of fabric for when the needles start to fall off. Then you just pick it up and shake it outside. Cuts down on the hoovering.
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