You know it’s December when you can easily spot trees strapped precariously to car-tops, speeding to their new homes for the holidays. With less travel this season, it’s likely many are helming holiday decoration efforts alone for the first time. Whether it’s your first time buying a tree or your twentieth, we have some helpful tips for every step of the process.
Choosing Your Tree
Dallas has no shortage of places to pick up pre-cut trees. Ruibal’s is stocking Noble firs, Nordman firs, and Fraser firs ranging in size from five to 13 feet, all sourced from Oregon. They also have live trees—baby blue spruce, dwarf Alberta spruce, and Australian black pine—in addition to table-top rosemary cones. Nicholson-Hardie’s trees are hand-selected from their grower in North Carolina and can be delivered and set up locally (for free within a 5-mile radius). For other pre-cut options, Brumley Gardens, Redenta’s, and Calloway’s all offer varieties like Fraser and Noble fir. If you prefer to pick and cut your own tree, head out of town to Lone Star Pines in Terrell to chop your own Fraser fir for $7.75 a foot. Mainstay Farm in Cleburne offers choose-and-cut Blue Ice as well as pre-cut Fraser firs, ranging from $65 to $100.
Caring For Your Tree
Once the tree has arrived safely, proper care is vital for its longevity. Mark Ruibal, the owner of Ruibal’s, explains they always give their trees a “fresh cut” before sending them to their new home. This one- to two-inch cut from the bottom of the tree removes sap that seals the bottom, allowing the tree to take in water.
Once home, Ruibal stressed, it’s important to fill the water reservoir daily. If the bottom of the tree gets dry, it will harden once more and limit water uptake. Though some people like to add supplements like sugar or corn syrup, Ruibal believes that clean water is best. Lone Star Pines also advises performing a freshness test when selecting a pre-cut tree: pull a branch gently toward yourself and observe how many needles fall.
A fresh tree should not lose an excessive amount of green needles. When setting up the tree, keep in mind that cooler areas of the home are better. Be sure to keep it away from fireplaces or air vents that might blow directly on the tree.
Protecting Your Tree From Pets
Cat owners know all too well how tempting a sparkly garland or tasseled ornament can be. Prevent tipping by ensuring that the tree is securely attached to its base, and move edible or breakable decorations to higher branches. Don’t allow your pet to drink from the water reservoir, says the ASPCA, as it can harbor bacteria or harmful sap. If your pet has a penchant for eating plants, consider a shorter tabletop tree or an artificial option to prevent them from chewing the needles.
Decorating Your Tree
Once your tree is situated, the beautification can begin. If you pick up your tree from Nicholson Hardie, you can opt for custom lighting and flocking. Hunt down ornaments and other glittering accoutrements at two of the largest Christmas stores in the country, Decorator’s Warehouse and Holiday Warehouse. Love DIYs? Vetro Glassblowing Studio in Grapevine is continuing their 20-year tradition of holiday ornament making, an experience that allows you to color and shape a one-of-a-kind glass ornament in a socially-distant studio environment. For a no-stress option, Baker Design Group will do all the hard work for you with Christmas in a Box. Or, head to Mary Cates and Co. in Inwood Village to find designer-approved tree trimmings, stockings, seasonal figurines, and more.
Recycling Your Tree
When the fanfare is over, guide your tree into the afterlife through any of the tree-recycling programs in Dallas. Turn Compost will pick up your tree, mulch it, and work with a community partner to ensure the mulch is repurposed. Living Earth will also accept naked trees free of charge at many of their locations across North Texas—call ahead to confirm.
Additionally, trees can be dropped off at the Northwest Transfer Station or the McCommas Bluff Landfill until January 6 for recycling. Note that all decorations must be removed and that flocked trees are sometimes not accepted for recycling.