Experts Offer Tips For Those Buying 'Real' Christmas Trees

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Setting up an artificial tree for Christmas is nice and may give you the ideal tree shape, but nothing can replace the memories made with family when you visit a Christmas tree farm and select a real tree.

"We are expecting there to be a continued tight market next year as well", said Doug Hundley, seasonal spokesman for the National Christmas Tree Association.

Prices for real trees are up 5% to 10% this year, just like last year, when comparing the same-sized tree.

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According to a new AAA survey, an estimated 20 million Americans who purchased a real Christmas tree in the last three years did not properly secure it to their vehicle, risking serious vehicle damage and risky road debris.

"Twine that is wrapped around trees and looped through door jambs or open windows can cause serious damage to door seals and window frames", said Greg Brannon, director of Automotive Engineering and Industry Relations. Against a backdrop of rolling hills, masses of people weave their way through the maze of fir trees.

White pine is another popular tree in Indiana.

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It's the day after Thanksgiving and the Boyd Mountain Christmas Tree farm in Waynesville is packing a Black Friday crowd. Their limbs tend to be more pliable than fir trees. They also have strong limbs that will hold ornaments well.

Fraser Fir: Touted as the most popular tree in the USA, the Fraser has strong branches, excellent needle retention, and a sweet-spicy scent. Because the farms sold fewer trees during the recession, they had less space in which to plant new ones. If you're cutting your own, you'll know it's fresh. Remember that you do need to allow height for your tree topper and your tree stand. Data from the US Department of Agriculture showed that 1.9 million fewer trees were planted in 2015 compared with 2010, and the number of active growers is declining. If it is a pre-cut tree, run a branch through your enclosed hand. Touch the tree's branches, and see if any needles fall off. Avoid species like white spruce, Norway spruce, and blue spruce if needle retention is your primary concern.

Johnson's supplier was about 50 Fraser fir's short on his order, which he says is the most popular tree. Supplying the bottom of the cut tree with fresh water can help slow down the dying process and keep the needles from drying out and dropping off so fast, but with no root system attached, the tree is essentially living on borrowed time after it's cut.

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Lastly, before your decorate your tree, you will want to place it in an area of your house that keeps it away from direct sources of heat. The longer it stays in the house drying out, the greater the fire hazard it becomes. Always have the seller slice off an inch or two off the bottom right before you take it home to add the fresh cut effect.

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