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How to choose your Christmas tree: real or not? Which species?

How to choose Christmas tree

Every year, the same challenge: you get to choose your Christmas tree and bring joy to the house for grown-ups and kids alike!

Decorating it is an important part of the process, and is truly fun to work out as a family or with friends and colleagues, but the first eager step is choosing the tree itself!

Read also:

The most common Christmas tree

The Nordmann fir is now preferred over the famed spruce – a recent development!

Spruce Christmas treeUp until recently, spruce was the historical tree used for the Christmas feast. It is elegant, takes on a beautiful conical shape, and smells delicious.

However, the resilience of the Nordmann fir and the fact that it doesn’t lose its needles made it an instant winner when it appeared on the market. Even though it isn’t as fragrant, it became one of the keys to a successful Christmas.

Nordmann fir Christmas treeOther tree varieties are sometimes harder to find, but they’re beautiful, too:

  • ‘Omorika’, appreciated for its silvery shimmering leaves.
  • Nobilis, with blueish hues.
  • Korean with green and silver needles.
  • Grandis, a very dense bearing and strong agreeable fragrance.
  • Pungens, which bears long, prickly needles and is also very fragrant.

Different ways to purchase a Christmas tree

Christmas tree cut at the base

Christmas trees cut at the stump is the most common form. It certainly is very convenient and doesn’t take up much space.

  • Ideal for apartments.
  • Easy to carry around.
  • Can be attached to a log split in 2, with a hole matching the size of the trunk drilled through.
  • Cannot be transplanted to the garden.

Christmas tree in containers

A Christmas tree bought with its root clump in a pot is the only one that survives transplanting in the garden. It is often selected specifically for this reason.

  • Heavy and unwieldy, it won’t topple over as easily as other options.
  • Can be watered and thus is much less prone to losing its needles.
  • Can be transplanted to the garden, simply follow the tips listed below.

Pros and cons of artificial and natural Christmas trees

Christmas tree farmA natural Christmas tree has the advantage of being more respectful of our planet.

Apart from the fact that it must be transported from the store to your house, it is produced and grown specifically for the Christmas season.

  • It grew up in a natural environment.
  • It builds up on and feeds the ecosystem.
  • It is 100% biodegradable.

Who makes artificial Christmas trees?

Artificial Christmas trees use raw materials sourced from the petroleum industry. These are non-renewable materials that pollute our planet during production, transportation, disposal even when recycling.

Artificial fake christmas treeThey’re often made in countries where human rights are trampled over and exploitation is rampant. Workers making the trees may be forbidden from celebrating Christmas themselves, or their wages might not even allow them to purchase it in the first place. In a way, many artificial Christmas trees are the opposite of what they help celebrate!

Is it wrong to cut live trees for Christmas?

No: there is a lot of value in connecting to nature. Going to pick a real tree is a chance for all children! These trees grow locally in responsibly managed forests. Their purpose is to help remind us that Christmas celebrates a special moment: everlasting life enters the world that day!

How to transplant a Christmas tree to your garden

Yes, it is possible to do this if it is in a pot with its root ball. You can plant it in the ground after Christmas.

Best if it doesn’t stay for too long indoors, in your house.
Plant it just after the feast days, preferably on a day when it’s not freezing.

If you replant your tree and use it again in the following year, you’ll be compounding your support of the environment!

Recycling your Christmas tree

It’s very important that, after it has brought the whole family joy, you give your Christmas tree an honorable resting place. This might be a specialized composting center, but you can also slowly add it to your own family compost outside.

  • Recycling centers are perfect for those who don’t have gardens. Check if your municipality has prepared a pick-up zone where you can drop your tree off.

That way, it’ll go back to fertilizing the soil.

Perfect Christmas tree

Merry Christmas!

Images: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0: Fr. Lawrence Lew; Pixabay: Alicja Juskowiak, Markus Distelrath, Kristine T., Larisa; Public Domain: Alabama Extension
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  • Sheila wrote on 14 January 2018 at 5 h 08 min

    thank you for the advice

    • Gaspard Lorthiois wrote on 17 January 2018 at 10 h 25 min

      You’re welcome! Good for next year now, though…