Where to Buy this Year's Christmas Tree
Today, Dec. 11, is expected to be the busiest day for Christmas tree vendors. Do you know where to shop? Here's a look at area Christmas tree farms, vendors and tips on buying this year's fir.
When looking for that seasonal tree to trim, Portsmouth residents have a lot of options as to where to find the perfect fir.
A treasured tradition for many, to pick and cut their own, perhaps Escobar's Highland Farm might be the stop for you.
Worried about the environment, or mess of pine-needles and disposal? Like the idea of a fluorescent pink or white tree instead? Fake trees are re-usable, detachable and sold at most stores in a variety of sizes.
Finally, many choose the pre-cut trees that farms and road-side vendors sell. Regardless of where your tree-hunt brings you, there are essentials to consider to keep your holiday centerpiece lively and fresh for Santa's arrival.
Tom DeCastro, co-manager of DeCastro's Farm on East Main Road estimates that DeCastro's has been selling trees for the last 15 years. The family-run business has had a presence in the Portsmouth community for more than 35 years. The farm averages about 220 Christmas trees sold per season, DeCastro said.
Netting it nicely to the top of your car and getting it home safely, co-manager Patti DeCastro says it's important for customers to measure their ceilings and be aware of their space.
DeCastro's has a stock in Balsam Firs and Fraser Firs that are delivered from North Carolina.
DeCastro said that the spruce trees have big strong branches, but they also have prickly needles. While strong branches may be good for decorating and heavy ornaments, the spruces drop their needles quicker, DeCastro said.
"Fir trees -- what I carry -- those will hold their needles well into January," DeCastro said, although they do not have as sturdy of branches. Depending on the size, the trees at DeCastro's range from $25 as the smallest to $69 dollars the largest at nine feet.
DeCastro said that customers should look for the fullness of the tree, and to not be able to see through it.
"A nice full tree with a nice shape to it is what people are mainly looking for when buying a tree," DeCastro said.
Pre-cut trees, such as those sold at DeCastro's, should be given a fresh cut before being placed into their stands to absorb the water. DeCastro's, for example, has saws to do this on-site, as well as trimming excess branches to fit in the stand.
Essential to keeping the tree lively is regular watering. Pat DeCastro predicted that a tree absorbs about a gallon of water every two days. Tom DeCastro suggested watering every day. Many Christmas tree-vendors sell liquid products to put into the tree's water to extend the life of the tree.
Most people tend to buy their Christmas trees two weeks before, DeCastro said, "The 11th (of December) will probably be the busiest Christmas tree day."
Measure your ceiling, choose your tree-type, check for fullness, get a fresh-cut, water it regularly, and your tree will be the Christmas centerpiece it was always meant to be.
DeCastro's Farm is located at 1780 East Main Road. For more information about this farm, call (401) 683-4688.
Below are more places where you can purchase a Christmas tree in Portsmouth: