Picking the right Christmas tree

MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Many people prefer their Christmas trees to be artificial, but then there are those who want to go very traditional with their trees.
They like the real freshly cut trees in their home.

"A number of people say, I grew up with a natural tree. That's what my parents always bought, and that's what I want," says Neil Rhodes who runs Vol Firs.

While many people choose the ease of an artificial tree, others must have a live tree to adorn and bring the smell of Christmas home.

"The aroma is the big number one on fresh trees," admits Rhodes.

Choosing the right one is the first step. Preparing Christmas trees is a process that happens all year long on a farm, and with several different types.
Fraser Firs, White Pines, Norway Spruce, Douglas Firs, and others all different shades of green and with varying flexibility and strength in the branches.

"Look for one that has a good conical shape to it. One that also has a good straight top, and also a fresh one," says Rhodes.

You should ask how soon the tree was cut and test it's freshness.

"Take your hand, pull this way on one of the branches, and open your hand. That's what you want to see. If you open your hand and it's full of needles, probably should walk away from that tree."

Once you know which tree is best for you make sure it lasts as long as possible.

"The key is water, and more water," says Rhodes.

Also, be sure there is a fresh cut on the bottom, put it in water, and away from sunlight.

If you prefer an artificial tree, but still want that nice woodsy smell consider a fresh wreath or a "kissing ball."

"I think it's along the lines of a...kind of similar to mistletoe."

Whatever you choose...

"Be sure and get what you want. There's a lot of extra trees produced in East Tennessee and the whole southeast, and they're ripe for the picking!"

Always remember, the "perfect" tree is never the same for every family. Prices should range from $30-$150 if you go to a tree lot.

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