PEOTONE (CBS) — The first weekend in December is coming up, and with much warmer temperatures expected, a lot of people will to go hunting for their Christmas trees.
When picking a natural Christmas tree, Jeremy Bengston of the Bengston Christmas Tree Farm in Peotone suggests picking one that’s “manageable” for you.
Many times, he says, people don’t realize how wide their tree is until they try to fit it into their living rooms. He says, seeing a tree amid thousands of other trees can give people a false sense of their favorite tree’s size.
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If you buy a tree at a tree farm, Bengston says you do not need to cut off any more at the bottom of the tree once you’re home as long as you’re putting up the tree that day. He says you should cut an inch or two off if you intend to let the tree sit for a few days before putting it up.
He says trees bought at a tree farm should last longer than those you find at neighborhood lots or at big box stores. He says some of those were cut down as long ago as September and October.
Bengston says people like a variety of Christmas trees for many different reasons.
“Some of the spruce people like it for the cats and animals, who stay out of them because they’re slightly more prickly than the firs,” he said. “And, a lot of people like the pines because they’re old-fashioned Christmas trees and hold some pretty heavy ornaments.”
He says that, while Fraser firs don’t grow well in Illinois, its near-twin the Canaan fir, does.
He says, “[Canaan firs] are really great trees. A white spruce is a wonderful tree with stiff branches.”
He says white spruces are great for heavier ornaments and also have a softer needle than most spruce.
As for price, Bengston says most people spend between $30 and $50 for a seven-foot tree at his farm.
He says he’s found corner lots selling trees for much more than he charges, and he admits the real price bargains are to be had at the big box stores.
How do you keep a tree to stay fresh, longer?
Jeremy Bengston advises just keeping water in the bottom of the tree stand. He says no other supplements or additives are needed. Just water.
And, when shopping for a Christmas tree, a rule of thumb on how much time it’ll take, according to Bengston: The more people in the party, the more time it’ll take.