How to choose the right tree
The Christmas season is well and truly upon us as evidenced by the many people out shopping for the perfect tree for their home. Whether it’s tall, short, lean or fluffy, choosing the tree each year can be akin to a ritualistic experience.
But when choosing the right tree for your home this year, tree salesman, Ken Perigord, says there are a lot of things that need to be taken into consideration.
When shopping for a tree, Perigord says the first thing that needs to be taken into account is size. “In households where there are little children who tend to pull on things, or a home where pets live [getting a big tree] is probably not the best idea.”
He also says the space you have to work with, and how best you want to utilize it is also key in the decision making process.
Perigord says the Christmas tree you ultimately choose should say a lot about you so you shouldn’t be too rushed in making a decision, and some people may prefer lean and slim trees while other people like the stout and stocky trees. No matter the tree you choose, he says to be sure to ensure that the tree is you.
Two main species are usually offered for sale — the Balsam fir, a Canadian species which tends to be well-suited for the warmer Bahamian climate, according to Perigord, and the Fraser, an American species that tends to be greener than the Balsam Fir. Perigord says the Fraser doesn’t have the scent that most people are looking for, and is more expensive than the Balsam Fir. Whichever species you choose, Perigord says they are both great varieties.
When deciding on a tree, Perigord says there’s more to take into account than whether it looks nice or is fluffy enough. The amount you want to spend is also important. For a three-foot tree, the smallest you will find locally in most places, expect to spend around $15. Trees of this size Perigord says are perfect for smaller sizes like offices or a child’s bedroom.
Five to seven foot trees will run you anywhere between $50 and $150, depending on the density and fluffiness of the tree. Whether it is naturally grown, or trimmed symmetrically are factored into the price.
Expect to pay anywhere from $100 to more than $200 for a larger tree between eight and 10 feet. A 10 to 14-foot tree is a little more pricey but at that height, Perigord says most trees tend to be slimmer and leaner, so the price won’t be over $250 in most cases.
When you get to the tree farm, the first thing you need to check for in any tree you may like is whether it is fresh or not. The best way to discover this is to hold needles of the tree and pull towards you. If the needles come off easily and even more fall once the branch bounces back it means the tree is drying up.
Choosing a tree is only half the battle. The next challenge is to keep the tree alive and fresh throughout the season. Like any other plant, Perigord says the tree has to be trimmed at the base — about an inch will do — so that it can still feed and continues to thrive once you’ve gotten it home. He says your tree should be put in water within an hour of it being trimmed. He says to take your tree into the home right away, and not to leave your tree outside where the wind and elements can cause it to die more quickly.
To ensure that your tree is fed and healthy through the season, he says all your tree needs is plain water. But you always need to keep the water supply consistent. He advises that you check it every day, or every other day — especially with larger trees. Perigord says an eight foot tree can drink about a gallon of water a day so you have to be careful not to let it run out.
He says some people prefer to use preservatives like Prolong, Tree Life and Keep it Green, while others add home remedies like aspirin and sugar. Perigord does not advise using bleach even though he says he has heard many people swear by it.
At the end of the day you want your tree to be strong and healthy. Afterall you don’t want to spend your money on a good tree and let it die because you didn’t take care of it well. He also advises that people not close up their homes too tightly, because the tree still needs to breathe, and stale air can cause the tree to die faster as well.