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A word from UGA Extension
Tips on Christmas tree selection and care
Ingram Sam
Sam Ingram

Last week was all about turkey, and now we move into setting up decorations for Christmas. The focal point of most Christmas décor is the

Christmas tree, so keeping this fresh is a very important task. If you put up an artificial tree, then this article probably is not for you. I am a “real tree guy,” so hopefully this will help those who are in the same corner.


The main Christmas tree options we have in our state are Leyland Cypress and Fraser Fir. The Christmas tree farms in Georgia will most likely only grow Leyland Cypress because of our climate. For more information about Christmas tree farms in our area, visit The Fraser fir trees are coming from outside of the state and will be found in wholesale tree lots and the big box stores. If you are looking for a Christmas tree and also wanting to help out the community, several local groups sale Christmas trees as fundraisers.

Picking a fresh tree:

It’s hard to tell exactly how long pre-cut trees have been cut and how long they’ll last after purchase. To do a “freshness test,” hold a branch about 6 inches from the top of the tree. Allow the branch to slip through your fingers. If the tree is fresh, very few green needles should come off. Another test involves lifting the standing tree a couple of inches off the ground, then abruptly setting it down on its stump. The outside green needles should not fall off. Remember, inside needles turn brown and shed naturally.


There is no need to add special products to the tree’s water. Just give it a gallon of water the first 24 hours and another 2 pints to a gallon the next day.

Check the stand regularly and make sure it never runs out of water. If the stand were to run out of water, the tree’s cut may seal up with sap and possibly need cutting again to open it back up. Place the tree away from heat sources to help keep it from drying out too quickly.

For more information or questions contact Effingham County Extension agent Sam Ingram at 754-8040 or