How To Buy a Real Christmas Tree

Buy a real Christmas tree at Home Depot
Buy a real Christmas tree at Home Depot.

With the pandemic, more people are focusing on celebrating the Christmas holidays by buying real Christmas trees this year. It’s one way of safely having fun at home while maintaining normalcy during these unusual times. In fact, media have reported a potential Christmas tree shortage this year due to the increased demand.

It’s been a longstanding tradition in our family to have a real Christmas tree. When you buy a real Christmas tree, your home will be infused with the glorious smell of Christmas greenery. So, based on the media report, we headed to Home Depot earlier than usual (December 2nd) in order to ensure we could get a decent tree. Home Depot was very well stocked with trees, although they did not have any Fraser Firs. We looked at the first tree, stood it up, cut the twine so that we could see if there were any bald spots and decided that this tree passed our test with flying colours!

Buy a real Christmas tree at Home Depot
Buy a real Christmas tree at Home Depot.

If you have never purchased a real Christmas tree before, please read the following tips:

Shop Early for a Real Christmas Tree

We used to buy our Christmas tree around December 12-13. However, we have found in the last few years that there wasn’t a good selection of trees left at that time. As a result, we have started buying our Christmas tree around December 6, and this year, we bought it even earlier on December 2. You want to be able to choose the tree that will fit into the room you have in mind rather than be stuck with a too short, too tall or otherwise Charlie Brown Christmas tree!

Tip: Bring a pair of nail scissors with you to the store so that you can snip the rope that is typically wrapped around the tree (at least at Home Depot and other big-box stores, anyway). That way, you’ll be able to see what the tree actually looks like unwrapped.

A Wrapped Tree Is Easier to Carry

Once you have selected the tree, ask the tree department salesperson to wrap twine around your tree (there is a machine to do this). It is much easier to transport your tree in your vehicle if it is wrapped in twine. It also makes it easier to carry your tree into your home.

If you are going to be putting your tree up and placing it in fresh water within an hour or two after purchase, you should ask the salesperson to saw off about 1″ from the trunk of the Christmas tree. That will open up the pores that have been clogged by sap so that your tree can absorb water.

Putting Up Your Christmas Tree

First of all, if you don’t have a decent Christmas tree stand, now is the time to splurge on one. I made the mistake for a few years of using a cheaper plastic tree stand and became frustrated when my Christmas tree would fall over. I also became upset when some of my favourite Christmas tree ornaments broke.

So I finally bought a good metal tree stand like this Christmas tree stand at Canadian Tire and have really had no problems putting up my Christmas tree ever since.

If your Christmas tree is still wrapped in twine, you’ll find it’s very easy to carry it into your home and place it immediately into your Christmas tree stand.

You know the 1″ piece from the trunk that the tree store salesperson sawed off for you? Save that piece and bring it home. You can use it to place between one of the screws of your Christmas tree stand and the tree trunk to provide better distribution of the weight of the tree. I saved four of these 1″ trunk pieces and use them wedged in between all four screws of my Christmas tree stand.

Watering Your Christmas Tree

Water your Christmas tree as soon as are satisfied that your Christmas tree is standing upright and stable in your Christmas tree stand. One year, I made the mistake of not putting my Christmas tree up and placing it in water until seven hours after I bought it and after the trunk had been cut. That Christmas tree was not able to properly absorb water and the tree needles were very dry by Christmas Day!

Start watering with just a cup of water. Wait about an hour, then add another cup of water. Stick a ruler or end of a wooden spoon into the tree stand to see how much water is being absorbed. Your Christmas tree will absorb a lot of water in the first 48 hours so be sure to check the water level every 6-7 hours. You want to make sure that there is always at least 2″ of water in your tree stand otherwise the tree could dry up.

I hope these tips help you buy a real Christmas tree.

You may be interested in reading: “Cranberry White Chocolate Bars: Easy Christmas Cookie Recipe“.


  1. These are great tips. We used to have a real Christmas tree every year while we were living in our country house. Now that we moved and live in a flat in the city, an artificial one seems more practical.

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