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If you’ve not got your Christmas tree up, decorated and a photo of your masterpiece posted on Facebook, what have you been doing?

There’s still plenty of time until the big day and, If you’re like us traditionalists here at Certainly Wood, nothing but the real thing will do – artificial trees just don’t create that festive ‘je ne sais quoi’, do they? But what should you consider when buying a Christmas tree?

Location, location

Establish where in your home you’re going to put your tree before you head out to buy it. Avoid a spot that gets direct sunlight, is next to a radiator or in a draught as these conditions will shorten the lifespan of your tree and mean you’ll be endlessly hoovering up needles over Christmas.

Measure Up

Measure the height of your room to ensure your tree will fit and take your tape measure with you to measure your tree on site.

Also, remember to add around 15cm for the stand, if you’re buying a tree without roots. Think about the width of your tree too – you don’t want poor old Aunt Ethel stumbling into it after one sherry too many.


Real Fir

Nowadays, there are so many varieties of Christmas tree on offer, you may well have a choice between fir, spruce and pine. Fir trees, like the Nordmann, Noble and Fraser, are a good, all- round bet. They hold their needles well, fall into the mid-price range and will fill your house with that all-important Christmas tree smell. (Images top to bottom: Fir, Spruce & Pine)

Pine trees hold onto their needles reasonably well too, although they tend to be more expensive.


Freshness First

Once you’ve argued about which tree you’re going to have – the tall thin one or the short stubby one – make sure you test it for freshness. One way is to try and snap one of the needles – if it breaks in half easily, it’s fairly fresh.

You should also give it a shake to see how many needles fall off – avoid those that shed heavily. Finally, at the risk or looking rather too full of the Festive spirit, give your tree a hug. Newly-cut trees should still retain sap and almost feel a little sticky.

If all else fails, give the chap selling them a cheeky fiver to find out which trees have been delivered most recently.


Water Water Everywhere

Once you have wrestled your tree from your car and into your house, cut about an inch off the bottom of the trunk to allow it to get a good drink.

Always use a stand that holds water and refill it regularly, otherwise your tree’s beauty will be very short lived.


New Year

When Twelfth Night comes along, you’ll need to find a way to dispose of your tree. Call your local council to find out if they offer a kerb-side pick-up service after Christmas.

If not, take it to your local recycling centre. If you’re crafty by nature, then some of these ideas for repurposing your Christmas tree might well appeal.