How to pick a fabulous Christmas tree

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- With so many Christmas trees to pick from, you really cannot make a wrong decision. They are all beautiful and have their own characteristics that make them unique. Below is just a small list of firs you can find at many Christmas tree lots or nurseries.

• Noble fir  -- These are tall and pretty symmetrical. One distinction of a noble fir is that the needles are typically twisted upward so the lower surface branches are exposed.  The branches are pretty stiff, as well, making it a great tree for heavier ornaments.

• Fraser fir  -- The needles on the Fraser are dark blue/green in color and have a great scent,. It is more of a pyramid-shaped tree with strong branches, as well.  The needles are also flattened rather than having multiple sides to them.

• Douglas fir -- The Douglas is an interesting tree with its branches spreading to dropping. The bark is very thick, rigid and the buds are sharply pointed so watch for those.  The needles are dark green or blue-green in color and give off a sweet scent when crushed.

• Grand fir -- Considered one of the tallest firs, it has shinny needles in two distinct rows that usually spread horizontally so that both the upper and lower sides of the branches are visible.  The needles are long and dark green with two visible white lines underneath them.

Maintenance for firs or pines is pretty much the same.

Keeping them away from fireplaces or warms vents is ideal, and regularly add clean water to the pots. 

It is important to always remove a piece of the butt of the tree before placing it in a stand so it is fresh.

When decorating, consider LED lights. They us less electricity and are cooler so they would be a great upgrade from the traditional lights that are typically warmer.  If taken care of properly, some trees can last up to five weeks.

When it time to take your tree down, consider recycling it. Live Christmas trees are biodegradable and can be used for mulch or other gardening needs.

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