Choosing a Christmas Tree

Sunday, December 9, 2018 4:13 PM

I am a little late getting a Christmas tree this year, any suggestions on picking a tree tree and how to care for it? LB

I think a lot of us are in the same boat, so here’s some information on selecting trees and caring for them while they are in your home.

This seems like a no brainer, but give some thought to where your tree will be displayed. Consider height, width, and color. Will you only see your tree from one side or will it be visible from all sides?

Next, decide if you want to purchase a pre-cut tree from one of the sources around town, or if you want to get yours from an area Christmas tree farm. If you decide on harvesting your own tree, a quick search on the web will provide you with several options.

Oklahoma has several native-grown trees appropriate for Christmas trees such as Virginia pine, Leyland cypress, white pine, and Arizona cypress. You will find good options in pre-cut varieties such as Fraser fir, Noble fir, and Nordmann fir, all of which have wonderful fragrances good needle retention. Each of these will also hold ornaments well.

When selecting your tree, pay attention to the freshness of the tree. To determine freshness, see you can bend the needles. Fresh needles on the firs and spruces will snap kind of like a carrot and are not brittle. Pine needles will bend, but break only if they are dry. Of course, the freshest of trees are those you cut yourself and take home.

Once you get your tree home, you should saw about an inch off the bottom and place it in a container of water. If you purchased your tree but won’t be bringing it in to decorate for several days, you should store the tree in a cool shaded area.

Once you bring your tree in, keep its base in water the entire period it is in use. No water additives are needed, but keeping the base in water is a must.

Be sure the tree stand is strong enough to support your decorated tree without falling over as decorations can add more weight to your tree that you might think.

Also, make sure your tree is away from heat sources, as these tend to dry out the trees and increase the risk of fire.

Don’t leave the lights lit on the tree unless a responsible person is at home.

Finally, remove the tree before it becomes overly dry. The longer the tree is indoors, the greater the risk of it drying out.

If you follow these tips, you will be well on the way to having a Christmas tree you will remember for years to come. 

You can get answers to all your gardening questions by calling the Tulsa Master Gardeners Help Line at 918-746-3701, dropping by our Diagnostic Center at 4116 E. 15th Street, or by emailing us at