How to Buy a Living Christmas Tree

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If the long line of cars with trophy trees on the roof is starting to make you uneasy, maybe it's time to try a living tree.

Things You'll Need

  • Living Christmas Trees
  • Old Newspapers
  • Go to a garden center or plant store.

  • Choose a tree that is an appropriate size - remember to consider not just how big a Christmas tree you want but how much you can carry (or whom you can beg a favor from) and how much outdoor room you have for it to live in when Christmas is over.

  • Make sure the tree is healthy: every tree that's been hanging around outdoors will have a few spiders on it, but huge numbers of bugs are the sign of a sick tree.

  • Check the color; different pines are different shades of green, but if it's mostly brown it's a poor choice.

  • Run your hands along the branches: the needles should be springy and most of them should hold on to the branches, even when you tug on them gently.

  • Use old newspapers or plastic bags to tuck around the trunk so the dirt from the pot doesn't spill out when you tip it over to put it in your car. Many garden centers will pack and load the tree for you.

Tips & Warnings

  • Ask your garden center what kinds of trees do well in your climate - particularly if you're planning to put the tree in the ground when Christmas is through.
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