Picking the Perfect Tree

Thanksgiving and Black Friday are in the rear view mirror and we are looking towards the Christmas season. For most {and we are no exception}, the season starts with finding the perfect Christmas tree. Dan and I love having a real tree for the obvious reasons {smell, charm, and experience} but as a more practical reason the artificial trees are too expensive and too bulky for us to store in our small house. 

But back to the real trees...The first thing a tree attendant asks when you walk on the lot is the type of tree you are looking for and of course your mind goes....blank. Nothing. What are they called? Spruce? Fir? Pines? What's the difference?! If this has happened to you, you are not alone {especially if it is your first time buying a real tree}. To make that moment less stressful, we are going to walk through the typical trees found on a tree lot so you can confidently reply, "A 5 foot, white pine!"

Three Typical Trees

1. Fraser Fir - These trees are a dark blue-green, retain their needles, and have a good form. The tree branches turn up slightly and release a pleasant scent. I find that these trees have a thicker body, meaning there are more branches packed tighter together making this a full tree.

2. Balsam Fir - These trees are dark green, retain their short needles, and produce a wonderful scent throughout the season. The balsam is not as full as the fraser, and I have come to call them a "Charlie Brown Tree." I find it is easier to light this tree all the way to the trunk because the branches are a bit more sparse.

3. White Pine - These trees are blue-green, retain their long {2 1/2 - 5"} needles, but produce little aroma. Because of the long, soft needles, they are not ideal for heavy ornaments. I have not had much experience with these trees, but seeing them on tree lots, I find that they are usually a shorter tree measuring around 5 feet.

These are the most common trees, but the variety doesn't stop there! Others include white spruce, colorado-blue spruce, concolor fir, douglas fir, and scotch pine to name a few. You can check out their descriptions here.

The Tree-Picking Experience

Minnesota offers a few more options for where to pick a tree than other regions because of the climate. Where to pick your tree is dependent on your desire for "an experience" and budget. Starting with the tree lot venue, I think rummaging through the trees and walking among the stands is a great experience, however that is the extent of it. You will rarely find refreshments, Santa, or sleigh rides at your neighborhood Home Depot. As far as budget, you will more likely find a budget friendly tree at a tree lot versus the tree farm. An example, Home Depot offers trees at around $35 but do sell trees over $200. Farmer's market tree lots will be a middle ground, offering trees anywhere between $40 to well in the hundreds depending on size. Personally, I think that one of the best kept secrets of the Twin Cities {shhhhh!} is Frattelone's Ace Hardware. There are a few locations around the cities, but I prefer the Grand Avenue location. All balsams and white pines are $24.95 and all fraser firs are $29.95, no matter the size. Talk about a deal!

If the tree lot isn't your jam, and you would rather make a day out of it, check out a tree farm.There are quite a few farms in the rural areas surrounding the cities. It is on these farms that you will find "the experience." Many offer treats, warms drinks, and hay or sleigh rides. Also, you have the ability to channel your inner lumberjack and cut down your own tree! Many of these farms charge by the foot. The prices typically fall into $9-15/ft range. I did find farms where pre-cut trees were available at a lower cost, coming in around $35. To find the farm for you, check out this list.

Here is a peek at our tree! We chose a 7 1/2' balsam fir at Ace Hardware. I light my tree by snaking the light strand into the trunk then out to the tip, working my way up the tree. This creates a tree that is lit from the inside out, avoiding the "I just wrapped it around the tree" look. This method uses more lights {I have 6 strands on my tree!} but I think it is so worth it!

Happy tree hunting!

Vi ses senare!
Share to Facebook Email This Share to Twitter Pin This

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...