Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Alder Carr Christmas Tree Guide

As you would expect, at Alder Carr Farm we have a great selection of real Christmas trees, available from the end of November. These trees are grown just outside Woodbridge by George Stephenson. George cares for these trees for 6 – 10 years, once they have reached their perfect size they are cut, trimmed netted and delivered fresh to us here at Alder Carr. Here's our guide to picking your perfect tree.

1. Pick your spot

Before you do anything else, decide where the tree is to go. It wants to be seen but at the same time, ensure the tree isn’t placed where it will be knocked or crashed into by mulled-wine-filled adults or galloping toddlers.

2. Which species?

The traditional British Christmas tree, the Norway spruce, is attractive but has a tendency to drop its needles, particularly towards the end of the Christmas period. In recent years, it has been overtaken by non-drop varieties, such as the Nordmann fir.

3. Tool up

Gloves are essential, as are clothes you don’t mind covering in needles, sap and bark. If the tree is more than 4ft high, and presuming you are not a bodybuilder, take someone else along to help you carry it.

4. Choosing the tree

First, make sure the tree is as fresh as possible. To test how well the tree retains its needles, drop it on its stump from a few inches above the floor. If more than a couple of needles fall, choose another. Find a tree that fits your space.

5. Taking a stand

Keeping a 7ft or 8ft tree upright for nearly a month can be tricky. At Alder Carr, we sell stands that will hold up to a 6' tree and hold water to keep the tree fresh. Holding a bigger tree can be done with a large outdoor plant pot, filling soil around the tree stem (you may need to trim some of the bottom branches, you can use these for wreaths).

6. Caring for your tree

The two most important things are to keep your tree watered and stop it getting too hot. If you’re not putting the tree up immediately, store it outside where it will stay cooler. Cut a slice of the base before putting it up. Once it’s been put up, water it. 

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