Cutting Your Own Christmas Tree

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There is no better way to inaugurate the holiday season than by cutting your own Christmas tree.   Not only is it sure to be an adventure, it’s also significantly more satisfying than buying a pre-cut or fake tree. Here are ten things to keep in mind before you set off on your tree cutting adventure:

  1. First thing’s first: measure the space you plan to put your Christmas tree from floor to ceiling. Do not end up like Clark Griswold.
  2. Find a location that allows you to cut your own tree. If you don’t know one off the top of your head, a quick Google search will spit out some places nearby, assuming you’re in a region where Christmas trees grow. While a local Christmas tree farm is likely your best and easiest bet, there is also the option of venturing out in the woods in search for your own. This is surely the more adventurous option, and if you plan to do this, there are a couple things to keep in mind:
    1. Make sure the location actually allows you to cut down Christmas trees—unless you’re shooting for some petty revenge against an annoying neighbor.
    1. If they do, there’s likely a small cost for a permit associated with it (sometimes it’s as little as $5).
    1. If you’re unsure, check in with your local Forest Services office.
  3. Likewise, it might help to have an understanding of what type of tree you want before you hit the road. Of course, tree availability will be highly dependent on region, but here is a list of the 10 Best Types of Christmas Trees.
  4. Once you’ve decided on what kind of tree you’d like and where you’d like to harvest it, it’s time to gather everything you’ll need to harvest the tree and transport it back home. Keep in mind, some tree farms provide this, but if you’re unsure, it’s best to bring them along just in case. Here’s what you’ll need:
    1. Handsaw
    1. Gloves
    1. Tape measure
    1. Tarp (this can be used to drag your tree after it’s cut—much easier than carrying it all the way)
    1. Twine (or rope)
    1. A bag of some sort to carry everything
  5. Proceed to tree farm! Yay! Yahoo! Adventure time!
  6. Once at the tree farm, it’s time to pick out your tree! While only you will know what tree will fit best in your home, it is important to make sure the tree is fresh. In order to test this, grab hold of a pine branch and pull on the needles. If they don’t fall off easily, this is a good telltale that the tree will stay fresh for at least a couple of months (if watered correctly).
  7. Once you’ve found *the perfect tree,* it’s time to harvest! A couple things to keep in mind here:
    1. Cut the tree as low to the ground as possible. Doing so will enable another tree to resprout and grow when conditions are right.
    1. If you have an extra set of hands, have them hold the tree steady. This will make it much easier to cut.
  8. Bring your tree back to your car (this is where the tarp will come in handy).
  9. Tie it to the roof.
    1. While many tree farms will help you do this, not all will.
    1. Make sure the stump of the tree is facing forward and secure it snugly using twine, rope, or tie downs.
  10. Once home, saw off about a half inch from the stump. This will allow for maximum water intake.
  11. Be sure to water your tree daily for maximum longevity!

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