Stew Leonard Jr., president and CEO of Stew Leonard's supermarkets, has some advice on how to pick the right tree for your home.
When it comes to size, Leonard recommends buying a tree that is one foot shorter than your ceiling to allow enough room for a tree topper.
Before you buy a tree, check its freshness by removing a needle and bending it in half. If it gives but doesn't snap, the tree is fresh.
Get half an inch to 1 inch of the trunk sawed off before taking it home to eliminate the heaviest build-up of sap and get the bottom branches trimmed. You want at least six inches of the trunk to stand comfortably in the tree stand.
Also make sure it has full bark, which makes it easier for the tree to take up water in the stand. You do not want to shave bark off the tree. The tree actually "drinks" through the bark, Leonard says.
When it comes to price, Leonard says a tree should cost a little over $10 per foot.
At home, keep your tree away from direct sunlight and sources of heat, like a furnace vent or radiator.
When it comes to decorating your tree, Leonard suggests buying about 100 lights per foot of tree.
Leonard says LED lights have become an increasing popular option. They're brighter than incandescent lights and use less electricity, plus you can attach more strands per run.
Cool white LED lights will give you a bluish tone, while warm white and multicolor LED lights look more similar to incandescent bulbs.
For decorate around the house and outdoors, Leonard suggest at least 25 yards of roping for a fence line and at least 6 yards of roping for a doorway. If your wreaths and roping are real, spritz water on them periodically throughout the season to keep them looking fresh.
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