Cutting Your Own Tree. Contact a grower who operates a "choose and cut" lot. For a fee, you and your family can have the fun of selecting and cutting a cultivated or natural tree. But resist the temptation to simply head to the nearest woods with a saw.....you may be trespassing and stealing!
Picking a Tree Lot. Look for an established, reputable grower or retailer. Someone who can help you select the best tree for your requirements, and who will be there tomorrow if you have a question or concern.
Check for Freshness. Lift the tree a few inches off the ground and then drop it on the stump end. If outside green needles fall off, the tree may not be fresh. However, some needle drop is normal and is not the sign of an old or dry tree.
Handle With Care. Protect your tree from sun, wind and salt spray on the drive home. If you won't be decorating for a few days, keep the tree outdoors, away from the drying effects of wind and sun.
Make a fresh straight cut across the trunk about 2 cm up so the tree can absorb water and plunge the trunk into a container of water so that the end of the trunk is covered. If the water level drops below the fresh cut, a seal will form and reduce the absorption of water.
Get Ready. Bring the tree into a partly heated area such as a porch or basement, the night before decorating. This will help it adjust gradually to warmer temperatures and allow the branches to "relax" to their natural shape.