It’s that time of year again! The most wonderful time of the year! Everything from what you’re going to prepare as a meal for your family, to what gifts you’re going to exchange, all of the details make up a very busy time! There’s another item on that important list of “To-Do’s”: what kind of Christmas tree are you going to buy this year?

Choosing a Christmas tree can be an overwhelming endeavor because all of the trees may look so similar. Some have better needle retention than others, which may be an important factor when considering which tree you want to buy if you have small children. Apart from worrying about your children picking up needles from the floor, the cleanup process may prove to be longer than you’re willing to tolerate.

Some trees give off a strong fragrance, so if you’re sensitive to certain smells or have certain allergies, be cautious before making your purchase.

A very important factor to consider is the strength of the tree’s branches. If you’re more of a minimalist, you have a lot more options available to you. If you’re the type of person that has accumulated countless ornaments over the years and you like to place every single decoration you can think of on your tree, you may consider a tree with sturdy branches to withstand all of the weight of your ornaments. A tree with soft foliage is probability a more suitable option for family’s with children or pets to prevent injuries from occurring.

You can buy your tree from a local nursery or a farm where you can select and cut your own. Some nurseries already have trees cut, so you may be able to skip that step. Still, it’s important to examine the trees before making your choice. If you see a tree with a lot of needles underneath it, it means the tree is not in good condition and you shouldn’t buy it. Another way to see if you’re buying a healthy tree is by gently guiding your hand from a branch on the tree to its tip. It’s important that the tree not drop any needles when you make this motion because it means it’s strong and durable and will last.

After you take your tree home, make sure you’re always providing it with plenty of water. Negligence in this department may prove dangerous because, as a tree dries out, it can become more prone to catching fire. Always be mindful and keep an eye on your water dish beneath your tree and make sure it’s full.

The most common species of trees in Maryland are the following: Douglas Fir, White Pine, Colorado “Blue” Spruce, Scotch Pine, Norway Spruce, Fraser Fir, Canaan Fir and Concolor Fir. Different species have different establishment costs, management requirements, and marketability.