How to choose and look after your Christmas tree

Norway spruce or Fraser fir? Here’s how to make your Christmas tree the star of the decorating show

Do you buy your Christmas tree on December 1st? Or do you leave it to the last minute on Christmas Eve? Whatever your shopping style, we spoke to Harry Brightwell, spokesperson for the British Christmas Tree Growers Association, to find out how to pick the best Christmas tree (and make it last, too).

How to pick your perfect tree

“The most popular tree in the UK today is the Nordmann fir, a variety with excellent needle retention. Norway spruce was the tree beloved by our parents and it is still a traditional favourite, especially for its fragrance, but it will drop its needles if allowed to dry out.

“There are other more unusual varieties, such as blue spruce, Fraser fir and Scots pine, which offer different colours and shapes, but these may be harder to find. Prices vary across the country but, as a general guide, expect to pay from £30 for a 6ft Norway spruce, and from £45 for a 6ft Nordmann fir.”

How to care for your tree
“A cut tree should be fresh when purchased. Brush it fentrly with your fingers or tap it lightly on the ground: if it sheds lot of needles, it may be an old tree. Avoid those brittle branches and dull needles. Cut off about half an inch from its base in order to open up its pores, put it in a bucket of water and keep it outside in a shady, sheltered spot until it is required indoors.

“Once inside, stand it in a container that you can top up with water to help it last longer, you may be surprised by the amount of water it will drink. In the same way that you would care for cut flowers, avoid positioning the tree next to a radiator.”

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