Selecting a Christmas tree at a nearby retail lot or from a Christmas tree farm can be great family fun. To help find a Christmas tree near you, check out NCTA's online member database.
As I have mentioned, a quick and convenient, albeit somewhat expensive, way to purchase a Christmas tree is ordering from a Christmas tree farm selling over the Internet. It is a best bet for people who can't get out due to age and/or infirmity. I have listed some of the best sites online. You need to order early when using catalogs and the Internet as these companies have limited supplies and may require you to furnish a shipping date. Most will not deliver a Christmas tree after December 12th.
Finding a Christmas Tree - Lot Versus Farm
If you are buying a Christmas tree from a retail lot, the main thing to remember is freshness when selecting a Christmas tree. The needles should be resilient. Take hold of a branch and pull your hand toward you, allowing the needles to slip through your fingers. Most, if not all, of the needles should stay on the Christmas tree.
Lifting and tapping the Christmas tree on a hard surface should not result in a shower of green needles. Brown needles that have shed the previous year are ok. The Christmas tree should have a fragrance and rich green color. Branches should be pliable and bend without much resistance.
Actually, none of this will be necessary if you purchase the Christmas tree fresh from a local Christmas tree farm. In most cases you can find a Christmas tree farm close enough to allow you and/or your kids to cut the tree or buy one that the farm has just cut. Harvesting a tree from a local farm is becoming more and more a favorite family event. Again, you need to use NTCA's member database to find a farm.