Keys to spotting a not-so-fresh Christmas tree verse a fresh one

Posted at 12:54 AM, Nov 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-24 07:15:48-05

BRANDON, Fla. -- You may end up paying a little more for a Christmas tree this year thanks to the recession a decade ago. It takes about 10 years for a 7 to 8 foot tree to grow.

The National Christmas Tree Association says less trees were planted during the Great Recession.

That is the reason why picking the right one and making sure it lasts through Christmas is key to getting your money's worth.

"I hope so," said Damian Gonzales, as he looks through Christmas trees in Brandon at Dave's Christmas Tree Lot.

Gonzales is a paramedic and knows how dangerous a dried out Christmas tree can be.

One of the easiest ways to test a tree is touching the needles to see how many of them break off. It is normal for a few, but if you are getting a whole bunch, then you know the tree is dry.

"You'll see needles fall but if there’s a whole bunch of them that fall off then you know that tree is not very fresh," said Candy Bee. 

Bee has been selling Christmas trees for more than a decade and knows how to spot a bad one.

"You can run your hand over [the trunk] and you will come away with some sticky stuff. If all of that is not still sticky then it’s getting dry," Bee said.

And if the tree is not very heavy, it may be due to a lack of water and sap which is no good. Plus, do not be afraid to ask questions.

"If the person selling you the tree cannot tell you when the tree came on the lot or how long it’s been since it was cut you don’t want that tree because you don’t know how drive that tree is already," said Bee.

"I have heard all sorts of things like put this in the water, put that in the water," Gonzales said, talking about how he keeps his tree fresh.

Gonzales feeds his tree with a store bought solution, but Bee says the most important thing is changing over the water and placement. Never put it under a vent or near a sunny window where it will dry out faster.