GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — You can’t celebrate Christmas without a Christmas tree.
Well, you could, but what’s the fun in that. Whether it be a real tree with that unique smell (and hopefully no squirrels nestled inside them) to the artificial one you can get in the store, the Christmas tree is an essential part of the holiday spirit.
So what’s the best kind to get? Is an artificial tree in your budget or do you get a real one? Everybody has their own philosophy on which to get.
Here’s a few tips and places you can get either for your holiday. Act fast because many places are reporting a shortage of live Christmas trees.
Pre-lit/artificial Christmas tree
There are so many places where you can buy a pre-lit/artificial tree but timing is everything.
If you are looking to buy a tree online or in person for the first time, you should already be looking and ordering. Due to supply demands and the nationwide shortage on goods and services, ordering a tree online quickly is the most important thing.
Retails stores like Target, Walmart, Lowes and Home Depot are the quickest and easiest ways to shop online. Trees range from $22 and higher at most places. If you want to splurge, you can get higher-end trees that have snow and lights attached.
The advantage of getting a pre-lit/artificial tree is it’ll be the only one you have to buy, in theory. You will only have to put it together and decorate … some come already prepared that way. Wrap it up or put it back in the box and you’re good for another year.
Check out our online buying guide for pre-lit/artificial Christmas trees for lots of other ideas.
Here’s where it gets fun, or difficult, depending on your patience.
There are so many places in Eastern North Carolina where you can buy a Christmas tree. In a lot of cities and towns, trees are sold at a temporary site. They are shipped in and put on display for people to choose the right one for them.
It can be a fun experience but there are a number of things to keep in mind when trying to pick the best tree, including the width and height. Make sure you have measurements in mind when shopping for a tree.
If you see a tree you like, look at it from all angles. You don’t want a tree you have to wedge in a corner because one side of it isn’t as nice as the others.
Shake it to make sure it’s healthy and won’t die on you in a week. You’ll also need to make sure you can put the tree in an environment to keep it watered. Nothing ruins a Christmas like pine needles everywhere or the tree looking long in the tooth before it’s even time to celebrate the holiday.
Obviously, safety is important, too. You want to take the appropriate steps to make sure your tree doesn’t become a fire hazard.
So you’re all set to get a live tree. Where do you go? It doesn’t hurt to check out the same places that sell artificial trees. Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, Target and numerous other places will sell live trees, usually outside the businesses.
You can also check out local nurseries, which sell all kinds of trees and other planting items. You can easily find a deal at those locations.
Google is always your best option. You can do searches for tree farms, nurseries and other businesses like Ace Hardware stores and even small local stores that sell trees. Yelp has a nice site for shopping for Christmas trees that can make the process easier.
N.C. State University is also an expert place to learn more about the best places to get a live tree. Its extension department has a website with great tips to buy that fresh tree that will create a lasting memory.
VisitNC.com also has a nice selection of places all over North Carolina where you can get a tree. It’s a family tradition of many to make a day trip to the mountains to get a tree there. VisitNC.com has all kinds of options to choose from, especially in Western North Carolina, where there are a lot more options for a live tree to choose from.
Last but not least is to just get in the car and see what’s out there. Technology has made it easier for people to find just about anything. However, you’d be surprised how easy it is to find a place selling a tree that you can pick out for yourself.
Justice Farms in Jacksonville has been doing this for years. They opened up on Thanksgiving and will be selling trees right through Christmas. Same goes for Sharpe Tree Farm and Carolina Wreath in Rocky Mount.