How-to Tips for Cutting Your Own Christmas Tree
Nothing makes a home more festive than the scent of a fresh-cut Christmas tree. Given our proximity near, in, and around the foothills, the options to cut your own tree are plentiful. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you head out to find your perfect tree.
Permits – You can go grass roots organic and au natural by cutting your tree down straight from the forest. The U.S. Forest Service began selling permits for $10 the week of Thanksgiving at both the South and North Shore offices of Lake Tahoe. They include a map of designated tree-cutting areas and often sell out of permits before the December 19 deadline.
Appearance – Whether you have your heart set on a blue spruce or you can’t tell the difference between a white pine and a Douglas fir, it never hurts to bone up on which is which, perhaps narrowing down your search or opening your eyes to new traditions.
Height and Size – Know your space and bring a tape measure or yardstick of some sort. Being out in a wooded area may cause you to lose focus on what actually fits in your living room. This also includes circumference and the size of the trunk – will it fit in the stand? If necessary, consult a guide and have a plan before leaving the house.
Test for Freshness – You want a tree that’s vibrant and fragrant, not molting and tired. Try to crush the needles and bend the branches to test resiliency.
Cleaning – The downside to a fresh cut tree is the possibility of any insects and random surprises Mother Nature may have bestowed. Hose off your tree, give it ample time to dry (while still placing the base in water), and give it a good shake before bringing it inside.