Posted 20th Nov 2017
It's time to start thinking about your Christmas tree...
Between six and eight million real Christmas trees are sold in the UK each year. The festive season is fast approaching, and it seems Brits cannot wait, with one 2016 poll revealing one in 10 Britons would already have their Christmas tree up by early November, a whole six weeks before the big day.
With the festive season fast approaching, the ultimate centre piece in every home will be the Christmas tree. A real tree will be the perfect choice for those who are looking for a truly traditional option, which will provide the perfect place to hang your decorations, in the process creating a glittering, twinkling display.
Dobbies in-house expert Craig Roman shares his top tips to help you choose and care for your real tree.
Choosing the tree
There are four main types of tree sold in the UK, with each having different star-quality merits.
1 The Nordman Fir: the most popular choice, primarily due to its perfect shape, low-needledrop properties and luxury feel of its glossy, soft green needles, the Nordman Fir is the ideal choice if you want to put your tree up early and have it looking its best on Christmas Day.
2 The Fraser Fir: with a narrow width, the Fraser Fir is perfect if you're decorating a small space. With a blue-green colour and dense glossy foliage, it's ideal for tinsel, lights and a sprinkling of hanging decorations.
3 The Noble Fir: these are a little bit special, and will not be available in huge numbers. However if you're looking for something a bit more luxurious this could be ideal. Whorls of blue-tinged needles will adorn these gorgeous chunky trees, with nicely spaced foliage to provide the perfect place for your baubles and decorations.
4 The Norway Spruce: it's viewed as the traditional Christmas tree, and boasts a lovely pyramid shape, dark green foliage and has a classic rich, fresh festive scent. This will be the tree we all remember from our childhood, and although the needles will not last as long as some other varieties, it's a good choice for those with cooler rooms or tend to put their tree up a little later. They could also make great display trees for the front garden to welcome your guests over the festive period.
An Evergreen Investment
- When it comes to Christmas trees, whether real or artificial, it's worth a little bit more investment to get exactly what you want.
- Good quality real trees will be nurtured for several years by their growers, individually hand trimmed during this time to encourage and develop the classic Christmas tree shape we all look for.
- You can tell if an evergreen is healthy by the sheen of it's coat. They should be shiny, glossy and green.
- It's worth taking the tree by the trunk and tapping it on the ground - evergreens will lose needles all year round, but if too many fall off, you could want to reconsider.
Know how much space you have branching out
- Make sure you know the height of the room you're putting your tree in to - the labels are just a rough guide. It's worth considering the tree stand that you plan to use, as this will add some extra height to your tree.
- Height will not be the only measurement to consider - the width will also vary between trees, which is why you should never buy a Christmas tree ready-wrapped. When a tree is in the netting, you won't even know what you're getting - instead, it could be too wide for your room, or too uneven in shape.
- All is not lost if the height is wrong though. Simply trim the trunk and take off the lower branches.
Looking after your cut tree once you get it home
- If you want to get the pick of the trees, it's wise to make your purchase early. This doesn't mean you have to put it up straight away - once you're home, cut off the netting to allow the branches to relax and settle into place, before sawing a couple of inches off the base of the trunk.
- Stand your tree straight into a bucket of water, and let it drink just like a bunch of fresh flowers, putting it to one side in the garden until you are ready to bring it indoors.
- When it's time to decorate, be sure the stand holds water to help keep your tree looking fresh throughout the festivities.
Information and images courtesy of Dobbies