On The Hunt For The Perfect Tree
Rockefeller Center’s tree may be the country’s most popular poplar.
By Theresa Juva
“Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree, how are thy leaves so verdant,” goes the extolling Christmas carol. But choosing what kind of Christmas tree to light up your house is another holiday hassle added to the mix of dragging out the decorations from the attic.
While artificial trees are still the most popular, real pines are making a comeback, according to Bob Norris, the executive director of the Christmas Tree Farmers Association of New York. After a surge in artificial trees in the 1960s, Norris said in the last five years the trend is shifting back to the traditional tree.
For those who opt for an authentic tree anyway, Norris said trekking to a Christmas tree farm for a fresh cut one gives you the healthiest pick. He said most urbanites buy a pre-cut tree that have already started to dry out.
“A tree from the street corner loses its needles in a week or two weeks,” he said. “One fresh cut and properly handled will last six to eight weeks. It’s not uncommon for consumers to buy a tree around Thanksgiving and keep it to New Years.”
Norris said the average Christmas tree found at a farm is about six to eight feet tall and contrary to what people believe, you should choose a tree that is thinner and less lush when you see it out in the field. The fat trees that look nice in the field are usually hard to get through the front door and monopolize room space, which is why Norris said to stick with a scantier one.
Don’t worry about not finding your perfect tree: there are 400 Christmas tree farms scattered throughout the state. At Norris’ farm in Red Creek, NY, there are 10,000 trees waiting for tinsel. But you don’t have to travel nearly all the way to Ontario to spruce up your living room. The Christmas Tree Farmers Web site lets you punch in your zip code and find the closest farm near you. From Queens, most of the farms are on Long Island. See www.christmastreesny.org.