Nothing says "Christmas" like a real tree.  That pine scent wafting through your home, presents tucked under the branches, and of course, cleaning up the mess when the needles start to fall off.  With so many varieties of evergreens to pick from, how do you make the right choice?  The National Christmas Tree Association has compiled a list of the top five choices. Start a tradition and spend an afternoon at your local tree farm picking out your perfect tree.
Blue Spruce - my personal favorite.  A gorgeous tree that has a baby-blue tinge to it's needles.  Many times blue spruce are sold with the root ball intact so it can be planted outdoors after the holidays.
Balsam fir - if you want that true Christmas tree fragrance in your home, this is the tree to pick.  The needles are fairly strong and long lasting.
Scotch pine - long-lasting pine scent.  If you adorn your tree with large, heavy ornaments, this is the one for you as its branches are sturdy.
Fraser fir - a very pretty tree with turned up branches to hold strings of lights and ornaments.  Long, dark green needles.
Douglas fir - Long, soft needles with a light, sweet aroma.  Probably not ideal for holding heavy ornaments.

Once you get your tree home, remember your tree needs water, a lot of water!  Cut at least an inch off the base to allow your tree to drink.  I remember my dad adding sugar to the water in an effort to keep our tree fresher longer.  However, the National Christmas Tree Association recommends plain water.  Check the tree stand frequently and refill with fresh water as needed to keep your tree happy throughout the holiday season.   Merry Christmas!

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