3 Reasons to Buy Your Christmas Tree Early

There Is a Right Time to Buy a Real Christmas Tree

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Boy Pulling Christmas Tree. Credit: White Packert/Getty Images

The weekend after Thanksgiving is traditionally when most Christmas tree buying occurs. The decision to delay buying your holiday tree can certainly be determined by personal reasons including family tradition, religious doctrine and a post-Thanksgiving "getting into the Christmas spirit" barrage of media hype.

If you are not bound by any of these or other personal preferences, you might want to consider shopping for and buying a Christmas tree a bit earlier in November.

Buying early will pay off with less competition for higher quality Christmas tree selections and could ultimately result in a fresher holiday tree if properly displayed and watered. Here are some of the reasons to buy a tree early:

The Best Trees Are Harvested Early 

You should consider mid-November as the time to plan and follow through on your Christmas tree purchase. Christmas tree farms typically open during the middle of November and start cutting trees for lot sales. These are commercial wholesale farms (who often sell high-quality trees out the front door) and smaller tree farms catering to "cutting you own tree". These types of Christmas tree farms promote early sales in designated sections where Christmas trees are of age and in prime shape. Obviously, these areas yield better trees at the beginning of the season, and it's when you need to plan your visit.

Farms selling trees online actually insist you place your order early in November.

Although pricey, I've found holiday trees purchased on the Internet to be of higher quality than even the premium selects growing on a tree farm. These trees are the grower's "best of the season" crop and harvested first.

Farms that supply online broker/sellers or farms that actually sell online take the best trees of their plantation.

They will arrive in perfect condition and are stand-ready (some farms even provide temporary stands with the tree). Instead of having to pick the perfect tree, you have professionals select the best for your holiday season.

Get a Better Quality Tree Mounted in a Stand

Most people don't realize that many Christmas trees bought on lots were cut in early to mid-November or several weeks. So, when these trees are not purchased until after Thanksgiving, the drying process is well advanced and needle retention is often compromised. You are just as well off, and in my opinion, much better off buying the tree early and follow my recommendation on how to prepare it for optimum freshness over the rest of the season.

Although you just might luck up and get a fresh tree late in the season, you should not consider yourself getting a fresh tree by purchasing after Thanksgiving weekend. You just get a lower quality tree (picked over) with shedding needles as you delay your purchase. The sooner you get your Christmas tree in a watering stand after cutting, the longer will be the tree's needle retention.

The above reasons are the perfect excuse to buy a tree early and enjoying it during the Thanksgiving season.

You should not consider yourself getting a fresh tree by purchasing later. The odds are that you just get a lower quality tree with shedding needles if purchased in December. 

Avoid a Short Buying Season 

Every year is different when it comes to Christmas tree availability. Christmas tree sales in numbers can vary annually because some years will have less shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas than others. This means that tree sellers will be busy over a shorter period of time and you will not have as many days to shop for a Christmas tree.

Natural disruptions (insects, disease, fire, drought or ice) can cause regional Christmas tree shortages which can make certain Christmas tree species hard to find. In any event, buyers need to plan and purchase early to pick from the best holiday trees on the lot.