How to Pick a Fresh Christmas Tree

Shop at a choose-and-cut tree farm for value and a memorable family experience

Selecting a fresh Christmas tree ensures that you'll enjoy a green and fragrant display throughout the season. It all starts with cutting a live tree at a tree farm, an experience that ensures the freshest tree possible and provides a terrific family outing that can become a treasured holiday memory.

Finding the right tree is a family adventure at Minter’s Tree Farm in Inman, Georgia, just outside of Atlanta, where thousands flock each holiday season to pick a fresh Christmas tree.

“It’s an old-fashioned family tradition,” said Rick Minter, who grows Christmas trees on the land that has been in his family since the 1830s. “I remember going out to the woods with my father to cut the tree each year. I don’t remember how the tree looked once it was in the living room, but I’ll never forget that annual tradition with him. I encourage families to take some time out of the busy holiday season to visit a choose-and-cut tree farm. It’s an experience they’ll always treasure.”

Minter, who sells Leyland Cypress, Virginia Pine, Red Cedar, Carolina Sapphire and Fraser Firs, offers the following tips on how to pick a fresh Christmas tree and keeping it that way:

  • How to Pick a Fesh<br />
    Christmas TreeBring a measuring tape and know how much space you have for your tree. Minter says only two or three out of every 100 customers brings something to measure with, and he reminds customers that trees look smaller in the field and on tree lots than they do in living rooms with ceilings.
  • Pick the right pine. Different pines create different looks in your home. A Fraser Fir has a very traditional look with short needles and stiff branches for lots of ornaments. A long-needle pine offers an elegant, contemporary look with lights and garlands.
  • Buy the right stand. Minter notes that it is important to buy or own a stand that is adequate to hold up the tree and hold enough water to keep the tree healthy through the season. New tree stand designs are easier to adjust and resist tipping over.
  • Make a fresh cut. Re-cut the tree’s base before you put it in the stand so that it'll start drinking water. And never, ever let the tree suck up all the water in the stand. Minter says that once a tree has gone without water, the trunk seals itself off and there's no way to get it to start drinking water again short of taking the tree down and making another cut on the base.

Picking a fresh Christmas tree is one of the most festive home improvements you can make this season, and purchasing it at a choose-and-cut farm is a really special holiday experience that the entire family can enjoy.