10 things to know before buying a Christmas tree
Christmas tree seller Hugh Bannon told Independent.ie his top ten tips to guide you on the way to selecting a tree that will last the entire Christmas period.
Decide where you want to locate your tree; by a bay window, in a corner of the sitting room, in the hall next to the stairs. Then look at the space and height available.
2.Things to bring
Bring a measuring tape, black bag or old bed sheet for the car and ropes or straps for holding the tree securely in place.
3. Have a clean car
Set the car up before heading off, especially if it is likely to rain. Empty the car of golf clubs and other items and head down to your local tree supplier.
4. Irish trees vs. imported trees
Ensure the trees are locally sourced as these are generally cut later and will be fresher.
5. Type of tree
There are several different species of non-shed Christmas tree grown in Ireland. The best for needle retention are the Nordmann fir and the Noble fir. The Fraser Fir and the Lodge pole pine also have good needle retention.
6. Selecting a healthy tree
A healthy lush colour with good needle retention are the hallmarks of a healthy tree. To check for needle retention simply run your hand along the branches and check to ensure that the needles don’t come easily away.
7. Agree price
Depending on quality and tree type, the guide price would be €7 to €10 per foot.
8. Remove old needles
Having selected the tree and prior to netting, ask the seller to turn the tree upside down and shake the loose and dead needles out that accumulate in the centre of the trees. (This will reduce the clean up in the car.)
9. Tree Preparation
Ask the seller to drill a shallow 8mm diameter hole in base to make it easier to fix to the stand when you get home.
10. Tree Care
When you get the tree home, carefully pare the bark back around the base of the tree (about an inch) and leave it in a bucket of water in a cold shed or outdoors until you’re ready to put up the tree. For best results, use a water stand, locate the tree away from a fire and turn off any radiators next to the tree.
Hugh Bannon wishes a happy Christmas from all of the team at St Brendan’s GAA Club, who are raising funds for a club defibrillator - www.stbrendansgaa.org