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Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

Picking out the perfect tree can be a joy for the whole family

STILLWATER, Okla. – The Griswolds understood the significance of picking out the family Christmas tree, as do many Oklahomans about this time of year. Visiting one of Oklahoma’s “choose-and-cut” tree farms is a good way to jumpstart the holiday spirit.

“Choose-and-cut is a family experience,” said Craig McKinley, retired Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension forestry specialist. “The choose-and-cut operation is selling an experience as much as they are selling a Christmas tree. It’s fun.”

However, before heading to the farm, some time will need to be spent preparing to pick out the right one. Families should measure the ceiling height where the tree will be displayed.

“Trees seem to grow when they get inside,” McKinley said. “Be aware of where you are going to put it.”

Don’t forget to consider the width of the tree, and whether all sides will be displayed. Some trees at the farm may be a little flat or thin on one side, which is OK if that side will be back in the corner of a room once the tree is on display.

Also, have an idea of how you want to decorate your tree, as different species in Oklahoma will allow for different decorations.

“People choose a Christmas tree species depending on tradition and individual taste,” said David Hillock, OSU Cooperative Extension consumer horticulture specialist. “Each species has a distinctive appearance and fragrance, and some people prefer a tree densely sheared to a conical shape, while others prefer a loose, more natural form.”

No matter how big or small, how short or tall, or what color of tree your family chooses to bring home, it will be just right.

“There is no perfect tree. We all have what we like and what we don’t like,” McKinley said. “It all varies by individual. If you like it, it’s perfect.”

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Email: sean.hubbard@okstate.edu

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater, OK 74078
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