Make Your Christmas Tree Last
Best places to find a live tree and how to care for it once you've made that purchase
It's that time of year again. The holidays are upon us and it is time to start thinking about purchasing that all-important item that adorns your living room or den: The Christmas tree.
In the weeks to come, you are going to have many places and options to choose your tree in the Haverford-Havertown area, but it would be wise to investigate a bit to find exactly what you want.
Each year, the Tree Guys in the Manoa Shopping Center offer a selection of 300 to 400 trees in all shapes, sizes and price ranges. Owned by Doug Fittipaldi, this vast selection of trees is located in a sectioned off part of the parking lot next to the True Value hardware store.
"Our trees range from $20 to $50 in price and allows our customers to get a quality product at a reasonable price," lot employee Brendan Stevens, of Havertown, says, adding that the lot carries Fraser Fur, Douglas Fur, and Balsam Fur.
Another spot worth visiting is Orner's Garden Center across from the Sharro gas station on West Darby Road.
"We carry a selection of over 600 trees and are currently offering a $39.99 sale on all trees displayed in the front, including Douglas and Fraser Fur, that are shipped directly from the tree farms in New Ring Gold, PA," says Havertown resident and co-owner Randy Orner.
If a smaller live tree is more your taste, the Super Fresh located in the Manoa Shopping Center carries a large selection of tabletop trees that are more suitable for anyone who may not want the hassle of hauling a larger fixture.
No matter where you buy your Christmas tree, however, once you get it home you will need to care for it to maintain its appearance and beauty. Shortly after Thanksgiving is the best time to start looking so you have the best selection from which to choose. Once you make your purchase you can have the dealer hold it for you until you want to pick it up.
A live tree will not last much longer than a week or two indoors so this is very important. The Tree Guys' employee Brendan Stevens confirms that all "dealers will hold your purchase for you until pickup. It is a standard practice."
Haverford resident and True Value hardware store employee Dan Kiselev has some advice on keeping your tree well cared for. He states that while watering your tree frequently is crucial to its overall health, you can go one step further by supplementing the water with a product called Preserve.
Just mix a tablespoon of it with a cup of water and pour it in your tree stand. It will keep the needles green, prevents dryness and absorbs quickly. Also make sure the stand you are buying can hold water before you purchase it, because some stands are only designed to hold artificial trees and that would cost you an extra trip back to the store.
"Water, water and more water is the key to a healthy tree. Make sure to keep it in a cool dark place and don't let sunlight hit it. Once the tree is set up, keep it far away from any heat vents and position it away from windows where sunlight may stream through," advises Orner.
If you plan on getting rid of the tree after the holidays, the quickest and most painless way to trash the once vibrant fixture is the use of a tree removal bag. Just place the bag at the bottom of the tree under the stand when the tree is first positioned.
Do not wait until later, however. By placing the bag at the bottom of your tree, it will collect any falling needles or debris for the duration of your tree's life, states Super Fresh store manager Paul Mullen.
But there is another way of throwing away your Christmas tree.
"Most towns will get rid of your tree for free once the holiday is over, it's as simple as placing it out front on trash day," says Randy Orner.
However, if you decide on keeping that tree as a permanent part of your family, "make sure that the tree can survive in your climate, and plan to keep it outdoors until a few days before Christmas, so you can quickly plant it afterwards," advises Orner.