Choose the Best Christmas Tree

Pick the best of real Christmas trees. Photo by Forests Ontario
Pick the best of real Christmas trees. Photo by Forests Ontario

By Shelley McKay, Director of Communications & Development, Forests Ontario

Forests Ontario would like to encourage Ontarians to purchase real, locally-grown trees. After all, a real tree is the better environmental choice. It seems that many Ontarians agree. Nearly half (48.3%) of respondents in a recent Ontario-wide poll chose real Christmas trees as the environmentally friendly choice this holiday season. This was significantly higher than the one-third who thought artificial trees were better for the planet.
To ease the process for first-time tree buyers, or those that have recently made the switch to real trees, Forests Ontario has developed this list of tips for choosing a real Christmas tree:

  • Pine, fir, and spruce are the most common types. Spruce tend to lose their needles first, and fir are somewhat slower.
  • Before going to buy, measure the space where you plan to put the tree. Make sure you have a sturdy stand.
  • Upon deciding the type and size of Christmas tree, make sure your tree is fresh (a freshly cut tree will last longer and its needles will stay on the branches, instead of your floor).

◦     Make sure that the trunk has some sap coming out of it.

◦     Look for a tree that does not have brown needles.

◦     The needles of pine and spruce should bend and not break. They should also be hard to pull off the branches.

  • Raise the tree just a few inches and drop it on the base of the trunk. Shake it a little if you can.  Few needles should drop off. If they do, your tree may have been cut too long ago and has already dried out.
  • Make sure you have enough rope or bungee straps to get the tree home using your car (or bike).
  • Check and maintain the tree’s water supply daily.
  • When possible buy locally-grown trees

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