How To Shop for the Right Tree
To make your real tree experience the best ever, I offer this advice. Through trial and much error, I've found that no matter what kind of tree you select or where you live, these indispensable rules apply to all.
To calculate your maximum tree size, measure the height of your ceiling and then subtract 1 foot. This will allow ample room for a topper, such as a star. Keep girth in mind, too: the smaller the room, the skinnier the tree should be--unless of course there's very little furniture. Then a full tree is actually a welcome addition.
Even with diligent care, cut trees only last about 10 days. Your best bet is to cut your own from a farm or to purchase one from a store or lot that offers trees harvested within days of delivery. High prices don't always guarantee freshness, and rock-bottom tags often yield bad results too.
If the tree is fresh-cut from a farm, then go ahead and put it in the stand. Otherwise, soak it in a bucket of water outside overnight. I like to spray mine down with a hose to remove debris and help hydrate the needles.