It might come as a surprise, but buying a real Christmas tree is better for the environment than buying a fake one. It can seem like buying a tree from a store and reusing it year after year would be “greener” than chopping down a tree but in the long run the opposite is true! A tree farm is a lot more green space than a fake tree factory. 85% of fake trees are made in China while real trees are grown right in your neighborhood. There are an estimated 446 million tree growing right now on tree farms throughout the U.S. Real trees are obviously 100% natural as opposed to fake trees that are made from plastics and metals. When the holiday season is over your real tree is 100% biodegradable, and some charities and boy scout troops collect trees at the end of the season. On the other hand when you’re done with your fake tree the only place it can go is the garbage. And who doesn’t love the smell of a fresh cut pine tree. Walking into your home and getting a whiff of that outdoorsy scent will send you instantly into a holiday mood.

Before heading to the tree farm decide what height and size you want your tree. A super full tree might look nice outdoors but it won’t hold a lot of ornaments. You want a tree that has some open spaces but isn’t completely bare. But you plan on putting your tree in a corner it’s ok if you find one with a bare patch, you can always put that side towards the corner so it’s not seen. A tree doesn’t have to be the exact height you need, just make sure there’s room to take off at the stump or the top to make it fit.

When looking for the perfect Christmas tree you want one with sturdy branches. Press on a limb and see if any needles fall off. That’s usually a sign that the tree isn’t healthy. You also want the tree to have a nice green color and not any yellowing. Tree farms usually sell a variety of trees and much like apples at an orchard each tree type is different. Talk to the farmer about what kind of tree your looking for. If you have heavier ornaments or need a small tree this can help determine which type is right for you.

Your tree requires a healthy dose of water every day; a dry tree is one that’ll lose its needles. Keep your tree away from heat sources (this is true for a real or fake tree). Now sit back and enjoy your beautiful festive evergreen!