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It’s time to choose and care for a Christmas tree

Choosing a Christmas tree is a highlight of the festive season. But how do you choose the best Christmas tree for your home and keep it looking good throughout Christmas and into the New Year. Source: Timberbiz

Forestry England’s Christmas tree expert Simon Butcher reveals his top tips to picking the perfect Christmas tree and how to look after it.

For trees that are grown in Britain, he recommends three species: Norway spruce, Nordmann fir and Lodgepole pine.

“Each of these tree species is a bit different in size, shape and scent, so choosing one is really down to personal preference,” he said.

“If you appreciate the traditional look and smell of Christmas then the Norway spruce is for you. Spruce has a magnificent scent that will make your home smell wonderfully Christmassy.

“If you have young children the soft, big needles of the lodgepole pine make it a great choice. Though it is less common than other varieties, it’s a fantastic tree with lush green needles and a wonderful pine scent.

“And for keeping needles off the carpet, you can’t beat the Nordmann fir. It’s soft foliage and even shape with extra strong branches make it a real joy to decorate.”

To keep your real Christmas tree looking and smelling fresh throughout Christmas it is important to look after it.

“Once you have chosen your real Christmas tree, think about where you are going to put it in your home. Your tree’s natural habitat at this time of year is out in the cold so try and minimise the shock of moving it inside and keep your tree happy by giving it some space away from the radiator,” Mr Butcher said.

He also recommends checking your tree’s water supply every day and make sure the trunk is nicely submerged.

“Once you have got it home saw two and a half centimetres or an inch off the trunk. This will rid your tree of any hardened sap and make sure it can absorb lots of water. Water is key to keeping your tree alive throughout the festive season. You’ll be surprised just how thirsty they can be, drinking upwards of two or three pints a day!”

Forestry England is opening 13 Christmas tree sales centres offering high-quality real Christmas trees from the heart of the forest. All trees are grown in the UK and certified by Grown in Britain, and all Norway spruce trees are certified by both Grown in Britain and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

In Australia look at these trees for Christmas some are far from the traditional pine but add a more Australian flavour to the season:

  1. Norfolk Island pine. Araucaria heterophylla.
  2. Wollemi pine. Wollemia nobilis.
  3. South Esk pine. Callitris oblonga.
  4. Woolly bush. Adenanthos sericeus.
  5. Geebung. Persoonia pinifolia.
  6. Bush Christmas lilly pilly.