How Do I Choose a Good Christmas Tree?

Shopping for the perfect presents, baking cookies, decorating your home, wrapping gifts and choosing the best Christmas tree—they are all part of the wonderful traditions and memories we share with our family and friends during the holidays.  When it comes to choosing Christmas trees, there’s nothing like the aroma of a farm-fresh tree to fill your home.  But how do you choose a good Christmas tree?  A&N Lawn Service, a local nursery in Pittsburgh, provides the following tips to help you begin your search for the perfect Christmas tree.

Christmas Tree Farm

Determine What You Want

From Scotch Pine to Blue Spruce to Douglas Fir, there are a variety of Christmas tree types to choose from in Pittsburgh.  Each one can vary in needle sharpness, branch sturdiness, aroma, and color. It’s best to choose a tree based on the needs and wants of your household.  For example, if you have children or pets, you may want to go with pines or firs that have softer needles rather than sharp needles like spruce trees.  If you have heavy ornaments, Fraser Firs will be better suited for you as they can withstand the weight.   The darker green/bluish-green color of Scotch pine, along with its ability to retain water, is a favorite of many.  If you are looking for an instant Christmas aroma, Balsam Firs are the most fragrant of the Christmas tree varieties.


There’s nothing worse than leaving the lot and discovering your tree’s needles are half gone.  To check for freshness, be sure the tree trunk has a bit of stickiness.  Also, bend a needle in half.  If fresh, firs will snap and pines should bend and not break.

Secure Needles

You want to choose a tree that has secure needles. You can do two simple tests to determine this.  One, gently grab the inside of a branch and pull toward you.  The needles should stay on the tree.  The second way is to gently tap the trunk of the tree on the ground.  If several needles fall off, then you need to move on to a different tree.

Fullness and Color

Some families prefer a skinnier tree to a fuller tree.  Either way, you want to turn the tree several times and view from different sides to make sure there are no bare spots.  Additionally, even though Christmas trees range in color, one that is dull gray-green is too dried out.  To be safe, the greener the tree the longer it will last.

Tree Size

Know the height of your ceiling and tree stand before heading to the tree lot.  There’s nothing worse than having to cut a couple of feet off your tree to fit it in your house.  At the Christmas tree lot, be sure to measure the tree, keeping your ceiling and tree stand calculations in mind.

Fresh Selection of Christmas Trees at Pittsburgh Nursery

A&N Lawn Service, located on Reis Run Road in Franklin Park, 20 minutes north of Pittsburgh, is happy to be offering live Christmas trees this holiday season.  Stop by A&N Lawn Service with your family or call us at 412-931-9230.