Well, here at POD Towers we have been getting very excited about the festive season for a while now as we have been busy working behind the scenes on a number of very exciting projects. And with less than a month to go until the big day, it’s that fabulous time of year once more, full of excitement, anticipation and lots of beautiful, twinkly lights!
Over the next few weeks, we will be bringing you an array of yuletide content, designed to provide you with all the inspiration and practical advice you need to make 2012 your best Christmas yet! And today, we are looking at the focal point of every home at this time of year: the tree.
REAL CHRISTMAS TREE TYPES
Real Christmas trees not only look fabulous but they will fill your home with that festive pine scent, really helping you to get into the Christmas spirit. There are a variety of different evergreens available, including spruce, pine or fir – here is our guide to the most popular types:
The traditional British Christmas tree, the Norway Spruce boasts mid-green foliage, strong sharp needles and a good shape. It is however prone to shedding needles, so requires a lot of watering and ideally placing in a room where the heating isn’t on all day.
Firs offer much better pine retention and as a result, the Nordman Fir is now the most popular Christmas tree, staying fresh even in warm temperatures. These trees tend to be more cone-shaped and boast open, spiky branches with bold green needles in a darker shade than the Norway Spruce.
The Noble Fir has short, stiff branches with thick, strong foliage, making it perfect for hanging heavier ornaments and decorations. The branches at the bottom of the tree are ideal for snapping off and using to make wreathes and garlands. This fir also has a strong festive aroma.
The Blue Spruce’s needles have a bluey silver tinge to them, which gives them a slightly different look from the typical tree and is perfect if you are considering a colour scheme in these shades. It can be harder to find than other varieties, due to them being more challenging to grow.
CHOOSING THE PERFECT TREE
Decided on your tree type but not sure how to tell a good tree from a bad one? Follow our simple steps for picking the perfect tree:
1) Before you even leave the house, decide where your tree is going to go. Pick a well-lit corner where it will get the attention it deserves but try to avoid placing it right next to a radiator or where it’s likely to get knocked by tipsy relatives or over-excited children. And make sure you know the height of your room – a tree can be trimmed once you get it home but given you pay according to size, this can be a wasteful exercise.
2) Decide where you want to buy your tree from. Whilst readily available from garden centres, DIY stores and even online, why not investigate whether there is Christmas tree farm local to you where you can select your very own tree whilst it’s still growing? For a list of sellers, visit The British Christmas Tree Growers Association.
3) For a beautiful tree all through the festive period, you want to make sure you buy as fresh a tree as possible. You want to be able to check the freshness and shape for yourself, so avoid buying trees which are already wrapped in a netting cover. You want to look for a bright tree with no brown needles – check the dryness by running your fingers along the bottom needles or giving the trunk a gentle shake. If the branch is flexible and the needles don’t fall off, then the tree is healthy and fresh. If more than a couple of needles fall off, choose another.
4) Once you’ve brought your tree home, store it in a cool place – preferably outside – with the base in a bucket of water until you’re ready to bring it inside.
5) Before placing in your container, cut 2cm off the bottom of the trunk to aid its ability to absorb water.
6) Stand the tree in your container, wedging it firmly in place with stones and top up with water. If you have bought a container-grown or root-balled tree then keep or transfer into a pot and care for as you would a pot plant. Spread all the branches out to get a good sense of the shape and then prune any branches where necessary.
7) Keep the tree topped up with water to minimise needles dropping. A root-balled tree can be planted outside after Christmas; keep well watered throughout the festive period to increase its chances of survival come January.
Growing up we always had an artificial tree but in recent years I have become a true real tree convert. I love the whole sense of adventure which surrounds picking and bringing home the tree. Do you have a real tree? We’d love to hear your tips for picking the perfect tree.