Christmas Trees at Westlake Tree Farms

Real Tree Care

A few helpful tree care tips will enhance the enjoyment of your real Christmas tree and keep it fresh and fragrant throughout the holiday season.

If you are not setting it up immediately, keep the tree outdoors, or in an unheated area, in a container of water. Protect it from wind and sun until you’re ready to decorate. This helps the tree retain moisture for 10-14 days prior to bringing into your home.

Before you bring the tree into your home and place it in a stand, make a thin fresh cut of one-quarter inch off the base of the trunk. A sliver or wafer is all that is needed. This re-opens the pores of the tree’s stem so it can take up water. Immediately place it in the stand with fresh water. Don’t allow the water to drop below the fresh cut or the stem will reseal. Additives, chemicals and homemade recipes add no benefits to the water uptake or the in-home display length of your tree.

Remember, real trees are very thirsty. They may drink from 1 quart to 1 gallon of water per day. Use a stand with a 1 gallon capacity or more. Check it daily and supply fresh water as needed. Happy Holidays!

Tree Species


CANAAN FIR   $8/foot (cut your own, final harvest field), $16/foot (fresh precut) or $18/foot (cut your own):
This tree species is an intermediate species between Balsam Fir and Fraser Fir and incorporates some of the best qualities of each. Canaan has a medium green color, nice fragrance, and the best needle retention of the species we grow. It is native to the Canaan Valley of West Virginia and is well suited Mid Atlantic growing seasons and climates.

5 Biggest Myths About Christmas Trees

MYTH #1: Real Christmas trees are cut down from forests.
Busted: Seriously, do people still believe this? To be completely accurate, in a few locations around North America, the U.S. Forest Service sells permits for people to harvest wild trees. They do this in places to create fire breaks. But it’s a very tiny percentage of all trees used. 99% of real Christmas trees are farm grown like any other crop. And each year, tree farmers plant one to three seedlings for each tree harvested to sustain consumer needs for real Christmas trees.

MYTH #2: You save a tree by using a fake tree.
Busted: This is obviously tied to Myth #1, and also directly attributable to the fake tree industry. We’ve got ads for fake trees that say exactly that: “Save a tree.” Of course, this is false, because trees are a crop like corn, soybeans, pumpkins and apples. they are planted and cultivated specifically as Christmas trees. Close to half a billion trees are currently growing on tree farms in the U.S. alone. The really ironic part of the ad for the fake tree is one of the selling points is that it comes in a sturdy cardboard box. Ummmm, how exactly is that saving a tree?

MYTH #3: It’s better to use a fake tree because you can re-use it each year.
Busted: That’s a very short-sighted perspective. According to research, most fake trees are only used 6 to 9 years before they’re disposed. Even if you would use one for 20 years or more, it will eventually be thrown away and end up in a landfill. And unlike real trees, which are biodegradable and recyclable, fake trees are always a burden on the environment and produced in the US.

MYTH #4: Christmas trees are a fire safety hazard and frequently catch on fire.
Busted: You’d certainly think so by watching the local “Action News” team on TV. Each year, many of them show a dramatic image of a tree bursting into flames, intending to scare people into watching the news. And the anchor/reporter will say. “If you get a real Christmas tree, this could happen to you…” the reality is, a tree being accidentally ignited is extremely rare. As in 0.0004%. And those images of burning trees? They are often aided by gasoline or lighter fluid.

MYTH #5: Real Christmas trees end up in landfills.
Busted: Christmas tree recycling programs are available nationwide, and many are quite creative. A farm-grown real Christmas tree is 100% biodegradable, and is easily repurposed in the environment, from mulch to erosion control to underwater habitat.