When should you buy your fresh Christmas tree? That rather depends where you’re buying it.
Is November too early to buy a Christmas tree?
Some garden centres are urging you to rush out this weekend (25th November) to buy your tree from them; their trees are already in store and they argue that it’s better to buy one this weekend and keep it at home rather than buy one in December that’s been drying out in the garden centre for weeks. If you follow their advice, make sure you have somewhere cool and safe to store your tree.
Wait until December to buy your Christmas tree
We back the British Christmas Tree Growers Association whose advice is to wait until December to get a fresher tree. Many large-scale growers cut and despatch the trees for their biggest wholesale customers first and then cut for smaller wholesale orders and their own shops. Small scale growers, like us, continue to cut throughout December and at some Christmas tree farms you can even go into the field and select a tree that will be cut down while you wait.
If you want a standard five to six feet high tree, hang on until 9th or 10th December, particularly if you plan to take it inside straight away. If you’re buying from a Christmas tree farm, you may be able to get a fresher tree by leaving it even later. We cut trees to replenish our stock throughout December, so you might get a very fresh tree if you turn up the Saturday before Christmas.
How to look after your Christmas Tree
No matter when or where you buy your Christmas tree, you should cut a slice from the bottom of the tree (so it can take up water), remove the netting and stand the tree outside in a bucket of water overnight before you take it inside. Once inside, the tree should be put into a stand that holds water and kept regularly watered to stop it drying out.
However, not everybody has a saw or a safe place to stand a Christmas tree outside and our customers regularly tell us that when they get the tree home, everyone is so excited that they take it inside straight away, don’t take off the bottom of the trunk and quite often forget to water it. You’re pushing your luck to do that with a tree bought in November if you’re expecting it to look good on Christmas Day but you’ll get away with it if you buy your tree in mid-December.
When is the best time to take the Christmas tree inside?
The longer you can leave your Christmas tree outside in the cold, standing in a bucket of water, the better it will look on Christmas Day. A Christmas tree that has been kept in a hot room since the end of November will look tired and jaded on Christmas Day, whereas one that is taken in on Christmas Eve will look fresh and glossy. Most people settle for a compromise and take their tree inside in the middle of December.
And then the fun of decorating begins …