Live

Watch CBSN Live

Score a Great Christmas Tree for Less!

If you haven't purchased your Christmas tree yet, you're in luck.

On "The Early Show," Jason Cochran, editor at large of WalletPop.com, shared everything he knows about buying the right Christmas tree that at the right price.

Special Section: Holiday Gift Guide

Cochran said Christmas tree prices this year are about what they were last year.

PICTURES: Christmas Trees Around the World

"Good news, right," he said. "About $8 to $10 per foot, so about six feet, $48 to $60, most places. In the city, it can be a bit more."

"Early Show" co-anchor Harry Smith pointed out, "In the city on the sidewalks, you can get hosed if you don't know what you are doing."

So what should you remember when you're buying a tree off the lot?

Cochran explained it's important to have a saw with you.

"They are drying out by the time you get them and the sap in the trunk has started to cauterize; it can't drink," he explained. "So you have to make sure the tree can drink if you want to have your tree stay fresh and (keep) that great smell. You cut off about a half an inch of the trunk when you get it home. They do it there, too. You can do it twice. Keep it wet. Maybe a quarter gallon of water every single day this thing will drink."

Smith said, "We've had ours up almost two weeks and it drinks like crazy. You can't water it enough. You can still do this, plenty of time, to go to a Christmas tree farm."

But how do you find the right farm?

Cochran said you can get connected through Christmas-tree.com.

"I recommend going to one further out from the city. They tend to be less expensive than the ones where people come from the city," he said. "You might find a good deal there. Near the city it's about the hot cocoa and the fun with the family and kids."

Smith said, "That is a cool experience, you wander around and find the right one. In some farms, they give you the saw yourself and you can go out and cut it down."

But, Cochran advised, "Make sure it is straight. Otherwise, you have to cut it again if you get it crooked."

As for tree delivery services, Cochran says they work, but they're not the least expensive option.

"I think Target, Costco, Home Depot, a lot of them will deliver for you, and had their cut-off earlier this week for this year, so now it's the smaller guys you might find online, but you will pay probably two or three times more than if you picked it up yourself."

Artificial trees, Smith noted, are also a popular option among consumers.

Cochran said, "I think they start for something my height -- I'm about six (feet tall) -- about $150. Again, Home Depot sells both real and artificial trees. You want it nice, fuller, lights in it, prices go up significantly. But it pays for itself in a year or two."

Another trend is buying a tree plant.

"I love this idea," Cochran said. "Say it's your first Christmas together as a family or anniversary or anytime at all, you get a potted tree and it stays alive during the season. And when the season is over, you plant it in the yard. You keep it, you remember that memory, and it's also better for the environment. You don't have to recycle it. You don't have to throw it away."

For more information, go to Walletpop.com's article, "How to Buy a Christmas Tree."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.