OUT IN THE GARDEN: Choosing the right tree
This weekend coming is traditionally the weekend where the Cox household heads out to choose our real Christmas tree. Every year we watch families struggling to choose the right tree and getting frustrated in the process which is why this week I am not going to answer any gardening questions, I am going to hopefully give you the advice you’ll need to pick the best tree for you.
The first step before picking a tree is to understand the differences between the different types of Christmas trees available out there. How many times have you heard people saying: “Are these the ones that drop their needles?”
For many, the quintessential Christmas tree is the Norway Spruce, which Prince Albert introduced Queen Victoria to, thus starting the tradition of decorating a tree for Christmas.
These Spruce trees have a beautiful scent of pine and dark green spiky leaves... the flip side to all this splendour is that the leaves are prone to dropping.
Nordmann Firs are fuller trees with thicker set branches. They do lack the scent of a Nordmann pine, but they keep hold of their needles.
The Fraser Fir is very similar to the Nordmann Fir apart from the fact it is a little slimmer.
Keep in mind that the taller you go with a real tree the circumference of the bottom branches increases and if you’re placing your tree into a corner, it will need to stand further away from the walls, which will encroach into your living space. If that’s not a problem, then happy days!
With any potential Christmas tree, make sure that you view the tree from all sides before making a final decision and, importantly, know the height of the room you want to put your tree into.
Try to get to your local garden centre, such as Baytree, in good time before Christmas rather than leaving it until the last moment, as you’ll find your choice of trees will be greatly reduced.
When you’ve chosen your tree and you’ve got it home, don’t be tempted to bring it inside straight away – leave it in a garage if you have one or failing that, just leave it somewhere safe outside in your garden. The cooler you can keep your tree at this stage, the better.
Before you bring your tree into your home, cut a two inch slither off the bottom of the tree’s trunk.
This fresh cut will allow the tree to take up water while inside your home.
Make sure that you buy a good quality tree stand which has a large enough reservoir to pour water into. I tell you now that you will be really surprised how much water your tree can drink. You’ll probably have to refill this reservoir at least every couple of days to keep it looking its best.
This is important so take note: please don’t place your tree next to a heat source as it will accelerate the drying out processwhich will mean your tree won’t look at its best for long.
If you do not keep your tree watered, it will become stressed as it dehydrates and cause the needles to drop as it tries to conserve water.
Use LED lights on your tree as they do not give off anywhere near the heat of filament bulbs. Finally, just enjoy your Christmas and see you all in the New Year!