Secrets To Picking The Perfect Christmas Tree

For many families, picking out the perfect Christmas tree can be tricky.

Do you want a Noble fir or Douglas fir?

A big one or a small one?

At some lots, you can get them in different colors, like purple, pink, or white.

But the secret to picking a tree that's going to last past Christmas is watching what happens, when you shake the limbs.

"I pulled on the limbs and no pines came out that means it's good and fresh and well taken care of," said Shirley Freeman, who went with a group of friends to pick a tree.

Experts say, she's right.

The key to picking a healthy tree is coming up empty handed after pulling on the limbs.

"And make sure there's no brownness on the tree; that usually tells how fresh it is," said Jeff Spraetz, owner of Spraetz Christmas Trees.

He also recommends cutting about an inch off the bottom.

"The sap on the bottom, as you can see this is kind of yellowish. When you cut the bottom it will be bright white, like brand new wood. What's happening is the sap is starting to drain and it's sealing it up, and it's now allowing it to take water," said Spraetz.

And once you get home, don't wait more than an hour to get the tree in water.

"My personal preference is to tell people don't fill the water all the way full, just put about an inch and a half. And put warm to hot water because that loosens the sap, and the tree will continue to drink water," said Spraetz.

For a little more money, flocking is an option.

The two advantages to this - it makes the tree fire-resistant and it seals in moisture.

"The air is not blowing right on to the needles, so in that aspect it would keep it kind of fresh," said Spraetz.

The flock is not toxic so it's safe for kids and pets .

And a few more tips for keeping your tree healthy and safe once you take it home - don't put it next to the fireplace or under a heater vent because that could make it dry out faster.

And turn off your Christmas lights when you go to bed, especially if you have older lights. You don't want them to overheat and cause a fire when you're sleeping.