The Christmas tree has stood at the center of seasonal celebrations for hundreds of years, representing joy and hope and delighting young and old alike. To keep your Christmas tree through to the New Year, you'll need the freshest tree possible from the outset. The best way to do that? Buy your tree at a garden centre or tree nursery. Tree experts are the best placed to give you advice and ensure you take home a healthy tree with abundant and brilliant foliage.
The most popular varieties of natural Christmas trees
The Balsam fir is a bestseller in Quebec and all-round pleaser.
- releases a wonderful, under-stated woodsy fragrance
- natural resistance to home heating
- releases a forest fragrance
- needle retention is very good
- branches are a deep shade of green.
The most popular tree in Eastern Canada is the Fraser fir.
- bluish-green in colour
- better needle retention than the Balsam
- resistance to home heating
- branches are strong and slightly upturned
- virtually fragrance-free.
And finaly the Cook fir
- sturdy tree
- green to blue-tinted green
- releases a forest fragrance that smells like Christmas
- needles are short and prickly
- needle retention is excellent
Natural Christmas tree grading standards
- Premium designates trees that are well-shaped, clean, fresh, and with good colour.
- Grade #1 indicates a slight imperfection in the shape, but otherwise fairly healthy and with good colour.
- Grade #2 designates trees with more than two imperfections in shape and colour.
The measurement for the height is the distance from the base to the top of the main leader, excluding the part of the leader that extends more than four inches above the crown.
How to choose a fresh-cut and healthy fir tree
Before you go to choose your tree, take a few measurements at home first: you'll need the ceiling height and you'll need to calculate the distance required to move freely around the tree.
At the store
- Generally speaking, you need to look for a well-shaped fir tree with vibrant colours.
- Depending on the tree variety, choose a tree with abundant branches that are spread out evenly on the trunk, without spaces or any broken segments.
- Opt for a tree with firmly attached though pliable branches and needles. If you press the needles of a branch between your thumb and forefinger than draw your hand in, the needles should not drop into your hand. If only a few needles fall out, the tree is healthy.
- Lift the tree up. A heavy tree is full of sap and therefore freshly cut.
When you get home
- Leave your new Christmas tree in the garage or on the balcony for a few hours to ensure the change in temperature is as gradual as possible.
- If a section of the base of your tree was not sawn off when you bought it, use a tree saw to make a straight cut across the base, taking off a few centimetres from the original cut. This will improve water uptake.
- Bring the tree inside, place it in the stand and add water. Be sure to set the tree away from any heat source, such as a fireplace or electric baseboard heater.
- Cut away the tree netting and wait for the tree to relax. It may take a few hours for the branches to open.
- Keep the base of the tree submerged in water to prevent the tree from drying out.
- You can also spray the branches with room-temperature water to help them retain moisture. Be sure to turn off the lights first before you do this!
Find a store
121 rue St-Charles
844 route de l'église
11 Chemin Alonzo Wright
360 Chemin de Montréal Ouest
350 rue du Collège
333 route Cameron
13230 Boul. Gouin Ouest
1100 Boul. Bastien
1100 Chemin de St-Jean