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It may be tough to wait until December to bring in and decorate your Christmas tree, but jumpstarting the season may result in a dry and unsafe tree by Christmas. The best way to predict how long a tree will last is to know when the tree was cut, so ask when buying to ensure freshness and longevity. If you are buying a cut tree, try to determine the freshness of the tree before buying with some simple strategies and steps.


Four steps to checking the freshness of your Christmas tree this season are:

Give it a firm tug.

When shopping for the perfect tree, give the needles on a branch a gentle, but firm, tug; do they pull out or stay firm? If the needles come out with a tug, the tree might not be very fresh. When you pull on the needles, they should be firm to indicate a freshly-cut, not-dry tree.


Look at the ground.

When moving the tree around, look at the ground for any loose or falling needles. While it is not uncommon for a few needles to fall out here or there, it could be a sign of a dry tree. Trees become dry when they are not freshly-cut or adequately watered, which significantly impacts their longevity.


Get down to the trunk.

Push past the branches to evaluate and look over the trunk of your Christmas tree. A sticky trunk is a sign that the tree was freshly-cut; a smooth trunk could be a hint that the tree is dry, not fresh, and should be passed-by.


Take a good look.

Another way to identify a fresh tree is by eye; take a good look at the tree and assess its color, shape, and overall appearance. It is often possible to discriminate between a healthy and not-so-healthy tree simply by looking at it. The color of the tree should be dark and rich, without yellowing that could be indicative of a lack of moisture. While it is possible to bring a tree back to life with a generous watering, being deprived of water and signs of dryness can significantly impact the tree’s lifespan even with vigilant care and attention.


Cutting your own tree can confirm that it is fresh and, with regular watering and care, will last well into the holidays. If this is not a viable option, these tips may help you identify when you are buying a fresh-cut tree or when you are being sold a dry tree that won’t last.


Stop by Terra Bella Garden Center to select a tree from only the highest quality Premium Christmas trees, and for more insight and information on preserving your tree in the warm South Carolinian climate. Use these tips when purchasing a cut-tree and enjoy your festive display throughout the holiday season- and beyond!

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