What you should know before buying a real Christmas tree

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Consider where you are going to place the tree and how much space do you have? Measure your ceiling height and width space before going down to get your Christmas tree.

The recommended height is a buffer space of 1 foot from the ceiling if you have a bigger hall or a buffer space of 2 feet from the ceiling if you have a smaller room.

This also leaves room for a tree topper. Take note not to place your tree near any heat source or direct sunlight, as that will dry out your tree very fast. If you’re thinking of placing your tree near the window with indirect sunlight, you might have to water your tree more frequently due to evaporation.

Also, consider the fact that a live Christmas tree involves a lot more work and maintenance than an artificial one. So ask yourself if you have the time to upkeep your tree.

Finally, another thing to consider is your Christmas tree stand. If you’re a regular buyer of real Christmas trees and already have one from last year, check to make sure what size tree it holds and make sure it fits the Christmas tree you’re planning to buy.

If you are completely new to this whole thing, make sure you get a stand to go with it when you’re buying the tree. Some nurseries provide the stand on a loan basis, which you have to return after getting rid of the tree.

Are they toxic to pets?

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For furkids who love to chew on foreign objects, pine needles can be toxic if ingested. The sharp pine needles can also cause injury or gastrointestinal irritation. If you have a pet, it may be better to consider an artificial tree instead (and even then, depending on the material, the needles could cause gastrointestinal issues).

But if you do intend to get a fresh fir tree, consider having them in humans-only zones, or barricading them. Also keep the water bowl at the base of the tree covered so your pet doesn’t fall ill from drinking out of it.

When is the best time to buy a Christmas tree?

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Most trees last for 30 days, so if you’re planning to have it last till the end of the year, the best time to buy would be the first week of December.

What are the types out there and which is best for me?

Christmas trees varieties include Noble Fir, Nordmann Fir, Douglas Fir, Grand Fir, Fraser Fir and Balsam Fir. However, the most common ones in nurseries here are Noble Fir, which is the most suited for our climatic condition. Their stiff and evenly-spaced branches make it easy to hang ornaments.

How do I choose a Christmas tree?

Smell: Make sure it has a fresh, evergreen scent.

See: Make sure the needles are a beautiful dark green and not turning brown. Ensure that the tree is reasonably bushy and not sparse – if it’s sparse, it is an indication that the pine needles are dropping off and the tree is drying up.

What does the daily maintenance involve?

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Pour cold water immediately into the stand when the tree reaches your home as the tree will be thirsty from the delivery transit. While room temperature water works too, cold water is recommended as it prolongs the shelf life of your tree.

The water should be topped up every day or every two days, depending on how thirsty your tree is. Check the water levels daily.

To prevent mosquito from breeding, you can add anti-mosquito granules or a couple of aspirin or Panadol tablets in the water.

What are some safety precautions I should one aware of?

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Use low-heat producing decorations and lights on your Christmas tree to delay the drying of your Christmas trees.

Check lights and cords for broken bulbs and frayed wiring. Replace if necessary.

Turn your tree lights off every night or when you leave the house, to prevent accidental fires from happening when you are unaware.

When and how should I dispose of the tree?

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Most nurseries offer a Christmas tree disposal service by professionals. Enquire after purchasing your tree.

If you wish to dispose of your tree yourself, saw the tree in small pieces (about 1.5 feet in length) and dispose of it properly, with the ornaments, lights and metal wiring thrown separately. However, if your tree is more than 12 feet in height, it is recommended that you hire a professional to dispose of your tree.

And to avoid a mess of dropping needles while removing the tree out, lay a sheet on the floor and gently lay the tree down. Wrap the sheet around it to collect any loose needles that may drop off while you’re transporting it out.

Where can I get fresh air trees?

Quite a few nurseries have run out of their real Christmas trees, but here’s where you can still look (available as at time of publishing):

Prince’s Landscape and Construction
Address: 53 Sungei Tengah Road Singapore 698998
Visit its website for more information.

Far East Flora
Address: 55 Thomson Road Singapore 298140
Visit its website for more information.

Candy Floriculture
567 Thomson Road, Singapore 298183
Visit its website for more information.

Ji Mei Flower
Address: 5 Joan Road, Plot 11 & 12 Thomson Nursery Singapore, Singapore 298898
Visit its website for more information.

This article was first published in The Singapore Women's Weekly.