6 Steps to Picking the Perfect Christmas Tree

PHOTO: McArdles Florist and Garden Center in Greenwich, Ct., pictured here in 1957, have been in business for more than 100 years.

There's just two weeks to go until the culmination of parties, presents, shopping, caroling and wrapping. And, of course, tree trimming.

For those who celebrate Christmas, the tree is the centerpiece of holiday decor and a symbol of the season. But how do you choose the perfect tree?

The experts at McArdle's Florist and Garden Center in Greenwich, Conn., have shared their six steps to picking the perfect tree. And they should know -- McArdle's is the oldest family business in Greenwich and has been in the business for more than 100 years. It only sells Fraser Fir trees, because they have the best needle retention and last four to six weeks. Consider that the first tip.

Here are five more from James McArdle, owner of McArdle's Florist and Garden Center:

1. Buy from a reputable place that has trees that have been treated with care during the years and nurtured.

2. The freshest trees are ones that were recently cut. Some trees are cut and immediately sent to the stores. Other times, trees have been cut a while ago and aren't as fresh when they come in.

3. Grab a branch with a hand and gently pull on the length of the branch. If you end up with a hand full of needles, the tree isn't fresh.

4. The needle from a fresh tree should snap. A needle that doesn't indicates the tree was cut some time ago.

5. The perfect tree is subjective. Some people want a large wide tree, and others prefer a narrower tree. It also depends on what will fit one's home. Best to know the dimensions of the room where the tree will be placed. Picture how the tree will look in your home.

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