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    • JuzaMum
    • By JuzaMum 8th Nov 18, 12:55 PM
    • 309Posts
    • 256Thanks
    Real Xmas tree advice
    • #1
    • 8th Nov 18, 12:55 PM
    Real Xmas tree advice 8th Nov 18 at 12:55 PM
    I have never had a real Xmas tree but as I threw the many years old artificial one away after last Xmas I have decided to get a real one this year.
    When do you buy one if you want it looking good one Xmas day?
    What should I look for when buying?
    I assume I need a stand.
    Any hints and suggestions please?
    (Sorry for mentioning the C word so early)
Page 1
    • EachPenny
    • By EachPenny 8th Nov 18, 3:43 PM
    • 10,557 Posts
    • 30,929 Thanks
    • #2
    • 8th Nov 18, 3:43 PM
    • #2
    • 8th Nov 18, 3:43 PM
    When do you buy one if you want it looking good one Xmas day?
    Originally posted by JuzaMum
    As close to Christmas day as you are willing to wait, subject to (a) the retailers having any good ones left and (b) enjoying it before you have to take all the decorations off and find out how to dispose of it.
    What should I look for when buying?
    Originally posted by JuzaMum
    Has it been kept outside (good) or indoors (bad)?
    Does it look wilted or dry?
    If you give it a shake do any needles fall off?
    Don't be conned by 'special' trees which claim to last forever.

    And most importantly!!! Measure up your house before you go shopping so you know how big (height and girth) you need. No point coming home with a 12 foot Christmas tree if you want to have it indoors. (and if you aren't sure about 'feet' have both imperial and metric measurements written down)
    I assume I need a stand.
    Originally posted by JuzaMum
    You can use a stand, but many people use a bucket (from 99p) filled with sand or soil. The advantage of a bucket is it has a use on the other 364 days, whereas a stand doesn't.
    Any hints and suggestions please?
    Originally posted by JuzaMum
    Stick with an artificial tree, much less hassle?

    Or consider buying a potted tree which you can plant in the garden and enjoy year after year?
    (Sorry for mentioning the C word so early)
    Originally posted by JuzaMum
    You are not forgiven.
    • HampshireH
    • By HampshireH 8th Nov 18, 3:54 PM
    • 1,480 Posts
    • 1,812 Thanks
    • #3
    • 8th Nov 18, 3:54 PM
    • #3
    • 8th Nov 18, 3:54 PM
    2 years ago we spent ages driving around for "the perfect tree". All we were left with was a headache. They are so expensive!

    Last year we went to Bunnings and bought a 25 tree. It was brilliant. Our is quite squat (it needed to go on top of a unit) but fanned out well and had lots of arms.

    It's been in a pot in the garden all year and has thrived. We will be dressing the same tree up this year.

    Don't be fooled by the most expensive being better. They are often not better, just bigger.
    • theonlywayisup
    • By theonlywayisup 8th Nov 18, 4:21 PM
    • 13,222 Posts
    • 9,052 Thanks
    • #4
    • 8th Nov 18, 4:21 PM
    • #4
    • 8th Nov 18, 4:21 PM
    I would recommend a stand, you can add water to them and keep the tree as hydrated as possible, it's amazing how much they "drink".

    Once you've bought it, store it outside for a day or so in a bucket of water. Make sure you know where it's going and that access is good - perhaps don't undo the netting until it's inside.

    We usually buy ours after the first week of December with a view to having it up by 10th or so (we have holiday cottages and each has it's own fresh tree). They can be expensive but we have the bonus of having a great local supplier who will do Nordmann Firs for 25 - 35 depending on height. Our reception has one that stands 12-14ft and we've not paid more than 30 for it. They last well and have negligible drop (needles). Try and find a good local supplier and not perhaps an expensive garden centre.
    • rob7475
    • By rob7475 8th Nov 18, 4:46 PM
    • 309 Posts
    • 188 Thanks
    • #5
    • 8th Nov 18, 4:46 PM
    • #5
    • 8th Nov 18, 4:46 PM
    We got ours the first week in December last year and it lasted till the new year with very few dropped needles until the last couple of days.

    We got a frazer Fir from a local christmas tree farm. You go into the plantation, choose which one you want and they cut it down for you. It's a good trip out if you have kids and gets them into the christmas spirit.

    Make sure you give it plenty of water. Ours base holds 3 litres of water and we had to top up at least a litre a day for the first couple of weeks. It did drink less as time went on.

    Also, if your tree isn't freshly cut, saw about an inch off the base of the tree when you get it home - it'll help it soak up water and live longer.
    • tori.k
    • By tori.k 8th Nov 18, 8:43 PM
    • 3,420 Posts
    • 9,174 Thanks
    • #6
    • 8th Nov 18, 8:43 PM
    • #6
    • 8th Nov 18, 8:43 PM
    If you have some outside space go for a potted tree, Honestly after the summer we and the dutch have had you wont get a decent cut tree this year, they will all be weighing light so even non-drop trees will likely drop needles this year. The modern artificial tree have gotten really good on the pricey side but you soon recoup the cost after a couple of years.
    If your adamant for a cut tree then get a water stand ( something like quickstand 8) and keep the tree sitting in water the biggest mistake people make is not watering their tree, you need to treat it the same as a vase of cut flowers.

    un net the tree as soon as you can so you don't distort the shape
    Last edited by tori.k; 08-11-2018 at 8:47 PM.
    • KateLiana27
    • By KateLiana27 8th Nov 18, 9:18 PM
    • 696 Posts
    • 926 Thanks
    • #7
    • 8th Nov 18, 9:18 PM
    • #7
    • 8th Nov 18, 9:18 PM
    We've bought a 4 foot potted tree from Asda for 20 the last few years. We do put it on a stand (was 5) to protect the floors - this has the advantage of bringing up the height to 5 foot too so it doesn't look small. Chuck in a jug of water every few days and it never drops anything. We put it outside in January and it lasted until the hot summer in June!
    • By POPPYOSCAR 8th Nov 18, 9:32 PM
    • 11,941 Posts
    • 26,088 Thanks
    • #8
    • 8th Nov 18, 9:32 PM
    • #8
    • 8th Nov 18, 9:32 PM
    Do you have an Ikea near you?

    They usually sell low drop ones for 25 and give you a 20 voucher to spend in store (to use after Christmas I think)

    We usually put it up around two weeks before Christmas in a stand that holds water.

    Jut looked it up in store from 22nd november. They are Nordman Fir and the voucher can be spent in store between Mon 4 Feb and Mon 1 Apr next year
    Last edited by POPPYOSCAR; 08-11-2018 at 9:35 PM.
    • Chrishazle
    • By Chrishazle 8th Nov 18, 9:45 PM
    • 527 Posts
    • 330 Thanks
    • #9
    • 8th Nov 18, 9:45 PM
    • #9
    • 8th Nov 18, 9:45 PM
    We used to buy a real tree every Xmas, kept in a stand and kept watered, bought the "no needle drop" variety but still cursed the needle drop. Many years ago we bought a good fake one, in the after Xmas sales so was really cheap, you'd be hard pressed to tell it from a real one, and each year we dismantle and box it, following year it takes about an hour to unbox and erect it.
    Don't have to worry about granddaughter getting a tree needle stuck into her, or having to clear the dropped needles daily.
    • trailingspouse
    • By trailingspouse 8th Nov 18, 10:17 PM
    • 3,471 Posts
    • 5,949 Thanks
    Our rather elderly artificial tree is dropping its needles...
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 9th Nov 18, 12:07 AM
    • 27,609 Posts
    • 98,452 Thanks
    Christmas trees are about the one thing I don't have to travel for. They're just down the lane and I'm friends with the grower, so if I want to, I can cut my own when I want it.

    That won't be until around 20th December, because Christmas and New Year needs concentrating into about 2 weeks, or it won't be special.

    I have a heavy duty sheep lick bucket into which I place the tree, surrounded by 30cm lengths of hazel about 40-50mm diameter. Once its stabilised in roughly the right position, I add grit, which locks it in. Then, when it's in the house, I add water. I go through this palaver because I find the metal tree stands useless with the trees we have.

    Even with a wood burner going in the room where it is, we don't usually have much needle drop. I'll probably pick a tree from close to the river this year, but my wife will have the real say in which one gets the chop....she always does!
    'There are places to go beyond belief'

    Neil Armstrong, apparently referring to worlds beyond the solar system.
    • andrewf75
    • By andrewf75 9th Nov 18, 10:42 AM
    • 8,595 Posts
    • 14,645 Thanks
    I think getting a good tree can be a bit hit and miss, but that’s part of the festive fun isn’t it? I guess it depends what you’ve grown up with but I’ve never had a fake one and I think I’d not bother at all before going down that route.

    Might look into a potted one this year though..
    • Davesnave
    • By Davesnave 9th Nov 18, 1:10 PM
    • 27,609 Posts
    • 98,452 Thanks
    Fake ones have their place, but even when we lived in the city, it always seemed worth a Saturday morning to take the kids up onto the Mendips where there was a farm that did trees as a side line.

    There, people could buy from the yard if they were in a hurry, or they could hang around till the tractor & trailer returned. We always waited, because the children liked the bumpy ride across the fieldsand sloshing through great puddles of mud more than picking the tree!
    'There are places to go beyond belief'

    Neil Armstrong, apparently referring to worlds beyond the solar system.
    • Fire Fox
    • By Fire Fox 9th Nov 18, 6:27 PM
    • 24,345 Posts
    • 27,706 Thanks
    Fire Fox
    Consider how close to the radiator/ heater your Xmas tree will be and how much you heat your house or the tree's temporary home (room).

    If your heating is off during work hours and at night, or the tree is in a less frequently used/ much cooler (say) dining room, it will be easier to keep it hydrated and healthy looking. But if your young family is home all day, you have one living area that is used and heated continuously, it may be more difficult to keep a real tree happy and healthy. In that case don't buy your tree too early.

    Last edited by Fire Fox; 09-11-2018 at 6:29 PM.
    Newbie declutterbug. Trainee Rosie the Riveter.
    • x_raphael_xx
    • By x_raphael_xx 9th Nov 18, 6:33 PM
    • 3,688 Posts
    • 19,379 Thanks
    Don't do what my ex did, and drag it out the house by its base after xmas. It was too wide for the doorway, but she dragged it thru anyway and EVERY SINGLE needle was pinged off as the branches brushed through.

    Killed our vacuum.

    I usually wrap the dead tree in a quilt cover to limit needle droppage on removal.
    Debt Free as of 17/01/2009 Turtle Power!!
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    • lewishardwick
    • By lewishardwick 9th Nov 18, 6:43 PM
    • 608 Posts
    • 812 Thanks
    There are different types of tree.
    Norway Spruce - Classic, nice pine smell, will drop needles rapidly if not watered.
    Norman Fir - The more popular choice. Drops less needles. Needles are softer, but longer than Norway Spruce. Less aromatic
    Blue Spruce & Fraser Fir - The posh ones! The least likely to drop needles. Expensive.

    All trees will drop needles if not cared for properly. Whichever you buy, you need to chop a few cm off the bottom of the stump and let it have a good drink, ideally outside. Avoid putting near a radiator. The needles will dry out and drop!

    If you get a specific tree stand, I'd avoid the plastic ones, you'll never get the tree 'just right'. Bearing that in mind, remember it's a natural product, it won't be perfect, enjoy that fact!

    If you go to Homebase/Bunnings/B&Q, please, please have some sympathy for the staff. They earn very little and have to be out in the cold for hours, opening tree after tree so little Tarquin can have a perfect Christmas.

    Oh! Do have a plan hot to get it home!!

    - A former Homebase employee
    • DigForVictory
    • By DigForVictory 9th Nov 18, 7:49 PM
    • 8,927 Posts
    • 29,237 Thanks
    We had a real tree one Christmas & I'm told it smelled glorious. We were still hoovering needles up months later.
    It looked wonderful, we got a heavy stand & spent happy ages trying to pin it upright - the lads piled baubles onto it repeatedly when the tree fell over & thought it all wonderful.

    We went with an artificial tree the next year & to be honest, other than the smell, the lads are not that fussed about the difference.

    Whatever you go for, enjoy it to the hilt & be ready to change plans next year?!
    • MX5huggy
    • By MX5huggy 9th Nov 18, 8:55 PM
    • 4,158 Posts
    • 2,734 Thanks
    Nothing but a real one for me.

    Make sure you choose a really big one, once you get them in and decorated they always look smaller than you expected.
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