When buying a real Christmas tree, here’s what you need to know

Hand-sewn teddy bears, plaid, silver and gold, pinecones and branches of berries … my mother chose a theme each year for the ornaments on our Christmas tree and faithfully stuck with it through the gift wrap, wreaths and garlands. The decorations never saw the light of day again, and we used to joke about who would inherit the annually dated “Christmas, 19xx” boxes in the garage rafters.

I am not my mother, and my approach to Christmas decorating is much more haphazard. What I did inherit is a desire for a huge, room-dominating tree.

Whether you choose to display treasured ornaments collected over the years or change it up yearly, there is one holiday constant … the Christmas tree as the centerpiece to your holiday decor.

Caption: Monterey pines grow at the Wickerd Farm, which planted its first Christmas trees about 27 years ago.
Credit: The Wickerd Farm

Caption: Christmas pine trees growing at the Wickerd Farm in the foreground with palm and other trees in the distant back make for a Southern California holiday scene.
Credit: The Wickerd Farm

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Caption: Precut fir trees from Oregon await buyers while shaded by the native oaks at the Wickerd Farm in Menifee.
Credit: The Wickerd Farm

Caption: A group checks out the trees grown for the holiday season at a field in the Pacific Northwest.
Credit: Pacific Northwest Christmas Tree Association

Caption: Firs grown in Oregon are popular choices as precut trees sold at Southern California stores, lots and farms.
Credit: Pacific Northwest Christmas Tree Association

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An estimated 76 percent of U.S. households plan to display Christmas trees, according to a 2017 survey from the American Christmas Tree Association conducted by Nielsen.

Where you fall in the real versus artificial tree is a matter of personal preference, budget, time constraints and how overwhelming your desire is to experience the smell of a fresh-cut tree through the season.

About 27.4 million real Christmas trees were purchased in the U.S. in 2017, with an average price of $75, the National Christmas Tree Association reported in a survey in January. This compares to about 21.1 million new artificial trees bought last year, with an average price of $107.

Finding a Real Tree

If you choose to get a real tree, there are more choices to make: where to buy it and what type of tree to get. The National Christmas Tree Association’s 2017 survey found 26 percent of real trees were purchased at

Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle


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