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Tree Picking with Lindsay

Posted on Dec 8, 2014

Field of trees
Our annual visit to Horton Tree Farms to hunt for our Christmas tree was a success! A few acres of balsam fir, spruce, scotch pine and white pine trees offered plenty of choice.
Lindsay with Tree
Husband with Tree
Family on trailer
We finally found our tree – a 7.5’ fraser fir – after a search that lasted over an hour and a half! The defining factor? Shape. This tree is narrow enough to fit our space but has good height to add drama.
Ryan was super happy to show off his green trophy; it's never tough to get him to pose for a good photo!
A short wagon trip back to the cabin with our trees was a fun finish to a great day. Our good friends Laura and Jon have shared this tradition with us for years!


Lindsay's Top 3 Tips:
1. Do a little research on the types of trees before you go. There are many factors to consider: scent, colour, needle retention and softness. Last year we chose a beautiful tree that was very, very prickly – never again!
2. Be sure to bring a measuring tape; after looking at so many trees you can loose your sense of proportion. It’s best to measure both height and width to avoid an ‘elephant in the room’ when you bring your tree home.
3. Always ask for a clean, straight cut when you get your tree wrapped, this way it won’t tip in your tree stand.
Below is a helpful guide on common Christmas tree types courtsey of Horton Tree Farms, that will save you time on your search and ensure you pick the tree that works best in your space.
Tree Types
Scotch Pine

SCOTCH PINE: Scotch Pine is known as the cosmopolitan tree of Europe. This conifer was one of the first plantation–grown Christmas Trees in North America. Its sharp blue-green foliage with needles about two to three inches in length can be sheared to an appealing density. Its conical shape, excellent colour and needle retention has made it the tree of choice for many years.

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WHITE SPRUCE: White Spruce is found growing the width of North America. It is a northland tree found throughout the lake-studded Canadian Shield and northern United States. Its delicate blue-green foliage with needles about one-half inch in length is very appealing. Given proper care, this tree exhibits good needle retention and is popular in harvest plantations. Its excellent form and colour make it an exceptional Christmas Tree.

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White Spruce
White Pine

WHITE PINE: White Pine can be found widely distributed throughout the forests of eastern North America. It has soft, lacy blue-green foliage with needles about three to four inches in length. A very graceful looking evergreen, its fragrance and excellent needle retention has made it a popular Christmas Tree for many years, especially in the traditional south.

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BALSAM FIR: Balsam Fir is found throughout the Canadian Maritimes and in remote parts of northern New England. Its soft, dark green foliage with flattened needles about three-quarters of an inch in length has a distinctive "balsam" aroma. Its sturdy branching and excellent needle retention have made it a longtime favourite Christmas Tree.

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Balsam Fir
Douglas Fir

DOUGLAS-FIR: First Studied by Scottish botanist David Douglas in the 1820's, this conifer is widely distributed throughout western North America from the interior lake country of British Columbia to the mountains of Mexico. Found in the central Rockies, the hardy "blue" strain is widely used as a Christmas Tree in the Northeast.

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Trimming the Tree

You can’t decorate your tree without sipping on eggnog! Ryan and I treat ourselves to a glass of eggnog and rum with a dash of nutmeg while we trim the tree. And don't forget to turn on the music and play those Christmas hits. This playlist from Songza always gets us rockin' around the Christmas tree!


Ryan and I have been collecting ornaments during our travels for the past 10 years, a tradition I’ve inherited from my parents. Growing up, my family tree was full of ornaments that recalled special memories; I always looked forward to decorating the tree with mom and reminiscing about where we bought each ornament.

Eiffel Tower Ornament
Our newest addition is an Eiffel Tower ornament from our recent trip to France. Every time I look at this ornament, I'll remember enjoying pains au chocolat each morning and sampling delicious macarons from Pierre Hermé Paris. These collectable ornaments will serve as great conversation starters at our next holiday party!
Antique Christmas ball

Deck the tree with twinkling white lights, antique glass ornaments and collectable treasures! Coming home on dark, cold evenings after work to a glowing, glittering tree makes the December chills seem much less harsh.

Decorated Christmas Tree

And voila! Our 2014 Christmas Tree decorated with love.  Now to start wrapping gifts! Keep your tree looking fresh by ensuring it gets lots of water. I find it helpful to refresh on these pointers from the National Christmas Tree Association to ensure I'm taking proper care of my tree.