Nothing quite beats the annual outing to pick out a perfect tree for holiday celebrations. And, says Bill Jacobs of Owasso Tree Farm, “the freshest tree you can buy is one you cut yourself, grown on an Oklahoma Christmas tree farm.”
Planning for your tree should start before you leave for a farm. Pick a spot for the tree and know how much room it will take up.
“Make sure the tree you pick will fit into the space you have designated,” says Jacobs.
Once at the farm, “bend needles to make sure they are not dry and brittle,” he says.
Jesse Wells, who owns Wells Christmas Tree Farm in Norman with his wife Katy, says trees should be chosen based on what individual families prefer.
“But different trees have different branch strength, so you should consider the size of ornaments you plan on hanging on the tree,” he notes.
Have someone in your household who is allergic to most Christmas trees? Wells says that the Leyland Cypress is a sterile, hybrid tree that’s hypo allergenic and does not produce any pollen.
Once you’ve selected your tree and gotten it home, “make a fresh cut on the bottom of the tree just before placing in the stand,” says Jacobs. “This will open up the pores and allow the tree to drink water.”
He advises using only fresh water for your tree, and not listening to the stories about putting sugar, aspirin or honey in the water.
“You need a stand with at least a two-gallon capacity,” he adds. “A tree can drink one quart of water per day, per inch of trunk diameter. A six-inch tree trunk will need one and a half gallons of water per day, so check the water daily. We guarantee if your stand ever goes dry, [the tree] will die. Place your tree away from heat vents, a fireplace and west sun windows.”
Jacobs has an easy tree disposal solution for his clients.
“We ask our customers to return their trees to us,” he says. “Fishermen pick them up and take them to area lakes for fish habitat.”
Wells also offers some advice for disposal in OKC.
“You can chip or mulch your used tree,” he advises. “Lots of cities allow you to bring them to their compost facility free of charge after Christmas. If you have some space, you can just leave it out somewhere, as the wild animals love them for habitat.”
Both Owasso Tree Farm and Wells Christmas Tree Farm have plenty of both self-cut and pre-cut trees this year, with opening days at the end of the November.
“There is nothing like a real Christmas tree,” says Wells. “From the joy of your family going out to a local farm to pick one out, to decorating and gathering around a tree with their wonderful smells, they definitely make Christmas more Christmas-y.”
“If you have small children, we would recommend staying away from the Blue Spruce,” says Wells. “They have very sharp needles that hurt when grabbed. On the other hand, if you have pets, this may be a good tree to keep them away.”
To keep things chaos-free, place fragile or heirloom ornaments higher up on the tree to protect them from breaking.