How to pick the perfect real Christmas Tree: a quick guide

28th November 2018

If you’ve decided to opt for a real Christmas Tree this festive season and you’re not sure where to start, then fear not…our quick guide to picking the perfect ‘real’ Christmas tree has got you covered!

We asked our resident tree expert, and all-round good guy, Duncan Leckie to give us his top tips to help steer you in the right direction.

Duncan With Nordmann Fir
Our Forestry Supervisor, Duncan Leckie, with a Nordmann Fir Tree

1. Pick your spot carefully

  • When choosing the perfect position for your tree, remember to keep it away from any heat sources (including radiators and fireplaces) as not only could they be a potential fire hazard, but they are likely to dry-out the tree and shorten its lifespan.

2. Grab your measuring tape!

  • Measure the space you have available and then measure it again! There is nothing worse than finding a beautiful tree to find out that it doesn’t fit once you get it home.
  • Measure the tree from the base, right to the top of the ‘leader’ (the tip). But remember to allow a few extra inches for your stand and your tree topper.
Ruari With Lodgepole Pine
Our Trainee Forester Ruari, measuring a Lodgepole Pine tree

3. What species/variety should I choose?

  • Do your research! It’s important to know what species of tree you want. Low needle drop varieties are best and tend to last longer. Here are a few you may want to consider:
  1. Nordmann Fir - tend to be one of the more popular species as it tends to keep its needles for longer and it makes the room smell very nice.
  2. Lodgepole Pine - is a nice lively shade of green and has a lovely aroma.
  3. Norway Spruce – the classic Christmas Tree! It tends to be bushier, with very few gaps in the branches.

4. Preparing and decorating your tree

  • Before placing your tree, it's a good idea to water it first, especially if your stand doesn't allow for this. First trim at least an inch off the trunk at the bottom, this will help the tree to soak up water and should help to prolong its longevity.
  • The bigger the tree the wider the trunk will be, so make sure your tree is secured in a stand of the correct size. Otherwise it could topple over!
  • And then the fun part…. get decorating! (Wee tip: the more branches the tree has, the more decorations you can fit on!)
Christmas Tree
Our Ballroom Christmas Tree all decked out in its finest decorations!

5. Caring for your tree

  • Real trees are thirsty! So, buying a stand that holds water might be a wise investment. Watering your tree daily, with about 1-2 litres of water, should help to keep it looking ‘merry and bright’ throughout the festive season.

6. Recycle your tree!

  • Make sure you dispose of your tree responsibly and recycle where possible. Contact your local authority to find out how to recycle Christmas Trees in your area.
  • Here’s a helpful link for those in Aberdeenshire:

Glen Tanar Christmas Tree Shop

Duncan, along with some of his helpful colleagues, will be on hand to assist you at our very own Christmas Tree shop this December.

Open Saturdays and Sundays in December (until 21st December) from 9am to 4pm.

Click on the button above for more information.