Finding the Perfect Christmas Tree

With the holidays on the horizon, no home decor is complete without a stunning, twinkling tree. At Pottery Barn, we are experts when it comes finding the perfect Christmas tree and decorating it in glorious style. Picking out the best tree to fit your needs is a jolly ritual that gets the entire family in on the fun.


Before you even think about tree decor, you will want to get a proper-sized tree to fit your home. Measure the height of your ceiling and then subtract the height of your tree stand and the tree topper you want to use for the maximum height.You also want to clear the space where you’ll put the tree to see how deep it is. This is a good time to double-check the width of your tree stand to ensure your choice stands upright and straight. Certain trees have a larger girth, so you want to keep this in mind when picking the best type. The most common types of Christmas trees include firs, pines, spruces and cedars. Douglas firs are popular because of their soft needles that radiate in all directions for a full look. Norway spruces are a popular favorite with their narrow, sharp needles that offer a pointed appearance while Balsam firs are the most aromatic. Whatever tree type you choose, make sure to cover your stand with a tree skirt to keep needles off your floor and add a framed finish to your Christmas tree.


You can also draw inspiration from your decorative wreaths and garlands when choosing your family’s tree. Match the same tree type for a cohesive look or mix things up for a contrasting appearance. To keep your tree healthy and happy all season long, make sure to cut an inch off the bottom using a pruning saw. This opens the veins that deliver water to the branches ensuring your tree lasts longer and absorbs water and nutrients. Most varieties of Christmas trees need higher amounts of water in the first two days. make sure to water vigilantly with fresh, clean water to keep your tree merry and bright.


For the freshest and healthiest tree, check out established tree farms, local farms or cut one down yourself with a permit. Most Christmas trees are cut about 3 to 4 weeks before they arrive on the lot. If you grab the needles gently and end up with a handful, the tree is already dry and past its prime so it’s best to pick a different one. Fresh trees should give off a fragrant aroma and this indicates that your tree is strong and healthy enough to hold even your heaviest ornaments.


Keep your tree away from heat sources, such as fireplaces and heating vents, as these can dry out your tree faster. When picking a tree, make sure to look for even coloration. Most Christmas tree needles will turn a dull gray near the edge as they reach the end of their life cycle. Once you find the perfect Christmas tree, have the sales agent blow or shake the tree to loosen any excess needles. Typically, the lot will tie up the tree in mesh netting for easy transport. Leave this netting on until you get the tree upright in its stand. Once the tree is upright, remove the netting and enjoy the decorating by starting with decorative lighting.


It’s also important to keep in mind the make-up of your household when selecting a tree. If you have children, you might lean toward pines or firs with soft needles instead of spruce trees, which have sharp needles that can hurt when you step on them. If you are looking for outdoor trees to decorate the porch, make sure to select types that are hardy and can withstand temperature changes.