When to buy a real Christmas tree
- There's a careful balancing act to buying your Christmas tree sufficiently early to make sure the best trees are not sold out whilst also managing how much care and attention it will need whilst in the home.
- One option that gives you the best of both worlds is ordering online or by phone well in advance and having our garden centre staff reserve a tree that fits your requirements. You can then arrange for it to be delivered on a day of your choosing or collected from our Staffordshire garden centre at your convenience.
- Remember that real Christmas trees have been living things; the right care and attention will make a big difference to how long they last. Keep it away from heat sources such as radiators and open fires and remember to top up the tree stand or water basis before it drops below the base of the trunk. By following these simple care steps, a Nordmann Fir tree, for example, will comfortably last 5 weeks in the home.
- If you're buying a Nordmann Silver Fir Christmas tree, you'll have no problem buying and installing it in the home in mid to late November. For Norway Spruce trees, we normally recommend waiting until December once advent calendars have started to be opened.
- Many people do put their tree up in the home immediately after bringing it home or having it delivered, but this doesn't have to be the way. If you're buying early due to commitments on other weekends there is no harm in keeping your tree in a cool, dry place such as a shed or outbuilding with the trunk dunked in a buck of water for as long as you need to. Traditionally Roman Catholics waited under after noon on Christmas Eve to put up their tree.
- Most people opt for the first weekend in December to install their tree. We normally still have plenty of stock left in the second weekend of December too. We would recommend buying before the third weekend in December where possible, especially if demand has been high earlier in the month.
- If you're eager to set up in mid to late November consider a Nordmann Fir Christmas tree, which are famed for their needle retention. They'll last better indoors for extended periods than traditional Norway Spruce trees. Nordmann Firs are a bit more expensive as they are slower growing than Norway Spruce trees.
- If you're looking to choose a Spruce, particularly the Norway Spruce, we ideally recommend waiting until December to minimise the amount of care it will need over the Christmas period.
- It's vital cut trees are fresh when bought. Pay special attention to make sure the needles are not dry and dull or branches brittle, particularly if buying in mid to late December. At Jackson's Nurseries we grown many of our own trees on site which are cut regularly throughout December, so you can rest assured that you're getting a freshly cut tree whenever you choose to buy.
- Needles on the outer part of the tree should not fall off when the tree is gently shaken. Some loss of internal needles is normal as these are naturally shed over the life of the tree.
- To check a tree's freshness, pull your hand along a couple of the branches to the ends or drop the tree onto its base from 1 foot (30cm) above the ground. Needles on a healthy tree should not fall off.
- If choosing your own tree from a nursery, bend a needle between your thumb and forefinger. It should form a "U" shape without breaking, unless the needles are frozen.
- If you're buying from a local nursery, compare the weights of different trees. The best trees will be heavier (not as dried out), bushier and have a straight central stem or "leader".
For more information on how to choose a real Christmas tree please click on the link.