Tips to Cut Down a Fresh Christmas Tree

Dec 7, 2022 | Outdoor Living

Cutting a Real Christmas Tree: What You Need to Know

There is nothing like the scent of a freshly cut evergreen tree in your home for the holidays.  It is a tradition of many families to head out to a local farm and chop down the tree of their choice.  If you are ready to venture out keep in mind these tips to cut down a fresh Christmas Tree.


Don’t Cut Down a Tree too Early

If you are putting up a real tree, don’t run out and get one right after Thanksgiving. Healthy trees get dried out within three weeks of cutting. Put your excitement on hold for a bit and then go on your adventure.


Measure Your Tree Space

Measure the distance from the floor to the ceiling in your home where you plan to put the tree up.  You don’t want to buy one that is too wide or tall for your space. Make sure the tree you pick fits in your vehicle as well and bring twine and scissors to secure it for the ride home.


Bring Proper Tools and Gear

Check if there are restrictions on the tools you can use at the location you plan to cut down your tree.  A chainsaw is quick and easiest to use, but bring a handsaw or ax just in case.  Remember to dress for the weather and bring sturdy boots and heavy work gloves. Protective eyewear can protect your eyes, and hand wipes will get the sap off your hands.  


Pick a Healthy Tree

While searching for your perfect tree, make sure the one you pick is fresh.  To test it, tug lightly on the needles.  If they stay and don’t fall off, the tree is healthy and will be green for Christmas.


How to Choose a Freshly Cut Tree

Don’t cut down the first tree you find. To avoid buyer’s remorse, do a complete walk through the farm and see what other fresh trees are available.  When you make your final decision, be sure to cut the tree low to the ground while someone holds it steady.  Shake off the excess needles before packing it up for the ride home. When you put up the tree, cut an inch off the bottom of the trunk so it can soak up water and nutrients faster. 


Permit Required?

If you are planning to take an adventure into the woods to chop down a tree, check to see if you need a permit to do so.  Some areas require a permit, usually for a small fee, through your local Forest Service office.  The size of the tree you can cut may be regulated, and gas-powered tools may be prohibited. 


Benefits of Real Trees

There are many benefits to choosing a real tree over an artificial one. Real trees grow naturally and help the environment.  If you go to a nearby Christmas tree farm, you will help support the local economy.   In the U.S. alone there are more than 15,000 Christmas tree farms that grow around 350 million trees and employ over 100,000 people.  Artificial trees can last seven to ten years in your home but centuries in a landfill.  A real tree is recyclable and biodegradable and can be chopped up and used for mulch. 


Hopefully, these tips to cut down a fresh Christmas tree are helpful!


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