The first snow has fallen in Central New York, cheerful decorations line shelves in retail stores and holiday music can be heard on the radio. The holidays are quickly upon us and amidst all the hustle and bustle; one tradition need not be forgotten: the purchasing of a Christmas tree. This can be an exciting time for any family: picking out the tree, putting it in the perfect spot in the home and decorating it with twinkling lights and garlands. But, what kind of tree is right for you? Do you like those with sturdy branches for the large ornaments that have been passed down from generation to generation? Or do you like the long, soft needles like those outside that catch all the snow? Whatever your preference – there is sure to be a tree for you! Take a look at this guide to determine which tree is right for you and your family for the holiday season.
· Douglas Fir –Is blue-dark green in color. Has a strong aroma, and keeps the fragrance as long as the tree is watered daily.
· Balsam Fir – this tree has been called the ‘traditional’ tree that most Americans have grown up with. It has a dark-green appearance and holds its fragrance through most of the holiday season. The needles adorning this tree are short, flat, and long lasting, making it the perfect tree for your home if you’d like to enjoy the presence of a tree well beyond the holiday season.
· Fraser Fir – Dark-green and blue in color. The Fraser Fir has tiered branches, making it appear large and fuller. The strong branches make this the perfect tree for those heavy ornaments from grandma.
· Scotch Pine – Is the most common Christmas tree. It has stiff branches, dark green needles, and keeps its aroma for weeks. Do you always forget to water your Christmas tree? If so, this is the best bet for you! The Scotch Pine can hold its needles for a short while even though it is dry.
· White Pine – has soft, long blue-green needles. No fragrance, and has less allergic reactions compared to those fragrant trees. These trees are not recommended for heavy ornaments; instead, decorate them with garland, lights, tinsel, and simple, and traditional bulbs.
· Blue Spruce – Dark green-blue in color. The Blue Spruce has very stiff needles and branches to support heavy ornaments. If you’re an animal lover or have young children, steer clear of this tree as the needles can be sharp to touch.
The National Christmas Tree Association has a complete listing of trees, their descriptions, and photos.
There are many places for those in the Syracuse area to cut their own tree. Visit the Post Standard online to view a complete listing. CNY’s cut-your-own Christmas tree farms article has a list based on counties in Central New York, as well as addresses and different kinds of trees grown at each farm.
As part owner of Emerson Trees and Wreaths in Weedsport, New York, , Greg Trutschel’s best advice to families who are bringing their perfect tree home is “keep it watered.” He continues, “don’t keep the tree near any heat sources for safety purposes. If there is a fear for allergies, leave the tree outside and spray it off or let it get rained on.” Trutschel’s personal favorite tree is the Balsam Fir “because it’s what we grew up with, and so I can keep the tree up beyond Christmas and New Years since it is so long-lasting.” Trutschel doesn’t have much advice for prospective buyers of Christmas trees other than to “buy what looks nice.”
So, go out and support family businesses by purchasing your tree locally, and though this is a short list, it has many different species of trees that will be sure to please any family getting ready for the holidays.