Logo

6 things to think about when choosing the right Christmas tree for your home

PUBLISHED: 14:00 27 November 2017

Squashed-in probably isn't the look you're hoping for, so it's far better to give a little thought to what size and style of tree is going to be best

Squashed-in probably isn't the look you're hoping for, so it's far better to give a little thought to what size and style of tree is going to be best

Thinkstock/PA

As Christmas trees arrive in garden centres, expert David Mitchell offers advice to those who only have a small space for a real tree

If the only spot for your tree is by a radiator, it's going to dry out. This means it will need more water If the only spot for your tree is by a radiator, it's going to dry out. This means it will need more water

Struggling to squeeze in a Christmas tree that’s too tall and wide for the space in your home, leaving you reaching for the secateurs in an effort to cut it down to size?

Bigger the better might seem like a good approach when it comes to choosing a Christmas tree, but squashed-in probably isn’t the look you’re really hoping for, so it’s far better to give a little thought to what size and style of tree is going to be best.

Here, David Mitchell, Christmas tree expert and buying manager for horticulture at Wyevale Garden Centres (wyevalegardencentres.co.uk), talks us through 7 things to consider when choosing your tree...

If you want a slimmer tree, Wyevale offers a Swedish style Nordmann, which costs slightly less than a traditional Nordmann - but there won't be as many of them and they sell out fast If you want a slimmer tree, Wyevale offers a Swedish style Nordmann, which costs slightly less than a traditional Nordmann - but there won't be as many of them and they sell out fast

1. How tall should you go?

The first thing you need to consider is ceiling height, says David Mitchell, Christmas tree expert and buying manager for horticulture at Wyevale Garden Centres.

“A lot of people have no idea how tall their ceiling is, and when you imagine a tree in a certain space, it’s easy to get over-ambitious as to what you can fit in there,” he says. “You also have to remember that the stand is going to add perhaps another six inches to the overall height of the tree, and quite often you find that you are having to cut the top off, or something that compromises the shape of the tree. So measure the tree and make allowances for the stand.”

Some trees have a more narrow profile, with a columnal figure and upright habit, with branches sweeping upwards rather than downwards Some trees have a more narrow profile, with a columnal figure and upright habit, with branches sweeping upwards rather than downwards

2. How wide can it really be?

“A lot of the trees are coming through very wide. The Nordmann, by its very nature, is a wide variety with a wide skirt around the base. We’ve been doing pruning work in the fields to help keep it within certain limits,” says David.

“A lot of people want something that’s big, bushy and deluxe, but as a general trend, we do want them slimmer and we try to accommodate that.”

There has been a trend for artificial trees that are stripped out and minimalist, following a Scandinavian approach, where you can see the light coming through between the branches There has been a trend for artificial trees that are stripped out and minimalist, following a Scandinavian approach, where you can see the light coming through between the branches

3. What style of tree is it?

If your space is very restricted and you want an extremely slim tree, Wyevale offers a Swedish style Nordmann, which costs slightly less than a traditional Nordmann - but there won’t be as many of them and they sell out first.

“Back in 2014, we recognised there was very much a trend for artificial trees at that time that were very stripped out and minimalist, following a Scandinavian approach, where you could see the light coming through between the branches.

Many garden centres also sell artificial thin trees which are almost like a standard, just with branches on the upper third of the tree Many garden centres also sell artificial thin trees which are almost like a standard, just with branches on the upper third of the tree

“We decided to do a version of that with our living trees, so we were selecting trees which had that layered effect, and prune in the field to get that shape and layered effect.”

Alternatively, the Fraser fir has a much more narrow profile, which has a more columnal figure and upright habit, with branches sweeping upwards rather than downwards.

4. What sort of scent are you after?

If you don't have room for a proper tree, there are other alternatives, such as long dogwood-style twigs or other branches which you can decorate with baubles If you don't have room for a proper tree, there are other alternatives, such as long dogwood-style twigs or other branches which you can decorate with baubles

For many people, the fragrances of the festive season are part of the appeal, so think about whether you want your tree to be scented.

“You also have to consider whether you want something highly scented, which might steer you towards a Fraser fir. You can get artificial scents to put in the tree, but there’s nothing like the real thing,” notes David.

5. Avoid clipping catastrophes

If you are going to attempt to trim back your own tree, there are rules about pruning.

“Ultimately, you have to cut where is necessary to make it fit the space, but there’s a tidy way of doing it,” says David. “If you cut any given branch half way down its length fairly unceremoniously, then it’s going to look as if it’s been cut off.

“If you cut it in between the nodes, taking off individual ‘fingers’ of the tree, or find a natural break, that’s always going to look better than if you cut it half way down. I wouldn’t just take shears to it and cut it off. Look for a natural join. There’s no risk of damaging the tree but because it’s such a centrepiece, it’s worth spending a bit of time on it and pruning with a bit of finesse.”

If the only spot for your tree is by a radiator, you have to accept that it’s going to dry out. This means it will need more water, if it’s in a trough, and you’re likely to see some areas going brown and a fair bit of needle-drop.

6. Consider some alternatives

If you simply don’t have room for a proper tree, there are other alternatives, such as long dogwood-style twigs or other branches which you could put in a vase and decorate with baubles to give the room a festive air.

Many garden centres also sell artificial thin trees which are almost like a standard, just with branches on the upper third of the tree.

“There are a lot of artificial trees which have that stark white Betula jacquemontii (silver birch) look,” says David. “It gives that stripped out, minimalistic effect. A real one in a pot would be OK indoors for a couple of weeks in December. You can decorate it and dress it up.

“I’m very much coming over to the notion of having a Christmas tree outside as well, because some of the Christmas lights are very well suited to indoor or outdoor use, and they can be solar powered, so you can have a set of lights and you don’t have to worry about power or batteries.”

Property search


e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Other Hampstead and Highgate property news

How to make a bird’s home a happy one

Planning to do your bit for National Nest Box Week? Experts

offer 9 tips to make sure you get the best nest boxes.

Looking for help to get on the ladder? Head to the First Time Buyer Home Show in Stratford for advice on schemes, developments and mortgages

Help is at hand for first-time buyers looking to buy their first home in London

The mortgage time bomb: What interest-only borrowers need to know

Did you know that some home owners could be at risk of losing their property for good - because they’ve ignored correspondence from their lender about how they plan to eventually clear their mortgage debt?

Home of the Week: Apartment in Phillipe Starck designed development

A stunning duplex apartment in The Yoo Building in St. John’s Wood.

How to revamp your bathroom by re-grouting tired tiles

Fancy tackling the job yourself? Follow Chloe Kent’s step-by-step guide.

Gardening: 5 ways to suceed with conifers

Conifers may have a reputation for being boring, but they add valuable colour and structure in winter. An expert offers five growing tips.

Home of the Week: Iconic house in Primrose Hill

This iconic Primrose Hill home, formerly known as The Rocking Horse House, has been beautifully remodelled.

Three great properties to buy in Dartmouth Park

Properties such as semi-detached and terraced Victorian houses with large gardens characterise Dartmouth Park’s streets

Dartmouth Park area guide: pubs, schools and family homes

Your guide to all the things to do in Dartmouth Park, including the best restaurants, pubs, schools and cultural activities in this corner of NW5. PLUS our guide to property in the area

Three great properties to buy in Hornsey

If you’re looking to move into or around the area, here are some ideas

Hornsey area guide: pubs, schools and family homes

Your guide to all the things to do in Hornsey, including the best restaurants, shops, pubs, schools and local history. PLUS our guide to property in the area.

Home of the Week: New build in Hampstead with panoramic views

Newly built property in Hampstead boasts 42ft entertaining room and its own roof terrace

5 issues landlords should consider in 2018

2017 saw a number of changes made to regulations governing the private rented sector and a record number of government consultations held in relation to letting in the UK, meaning there is plenty for landlords to consider and act upon in the new year.

Three great properties for sale in Little Venice

Grand stucco-fronted houses and large Georgian and Victorian brick constructions line the wide streets of Little Venice, whilst charming mews houses can be found on the cobbled street of Bristol Gardens. For the ultimate canalside location nothing can beat a narrow boat.

Little Venice area guide: Canalside lifestyle, cafés and bars, shopping, property and more

Your guide to all the things to do in Little Venice, including the best restaurants, shops, pubs, schools and things to do by the canal. PLUS our guide to property in the area

New two and three-bedroom homes in Hampstead reflect Arts and Craft architecture of area

Thirty nine new two and three-bedroom homes, influenced by the Arts and Crafts architecture of the area, have been launched in Hampstead.

Comment: How to set the asking price for your property

Simon Gerrard, MD of north London estate agents, Martyn Gerrard, offers advice on pricing your house to achieve the best possible result

What you should know about inheriting property

There’s much to consider when inheriting property, writes Fiona Brandhorst

Camden area guide: Market, food & drink, entertainment, property and more

Your guide to all the things to do in Camden Town, including the best restaurants, shops, pubs, live music venues and Camden Lock Market. PLUS our guide to property in the area

Home of the week: Regency villa in picturesque Downshire Hill

Situated on the prized and picturesque Downshire Hill, this early 19th century Grade II-listed Regency villa is on the preferred south side of the road.

Comment: They call me the House Whisperer

Trevor Abrahmsohn, managing director of north London agents, Glentree Estates, writes about his special skills for closing a deal, which, he says, include “psychotherapy, extreme cajoling and applied salesmanship”. We’re intrigued...

How best to clear your unwanted junk

Richard Burr reveals how to clear your clutter.

Do it yourself! Great short and part-time courses in DIY, interior design, carpentry and more

With a whole new year stretching ahead of you, instead of making resolutions and not sticking to them, why not pick a fresh interest which will not only hold your attention, stimulate your creativity and keep your mind active, but improve your home, too.

What’s in store for the housing market in 2018 and how it will affect house prices, mortgages and first-time buyers

If you’re considering whether to move home this year, Ella Walker looks at potentially the main influences on house prices in London and further afield, and how they may affect buying and selling.

10 gardening trends set to blossom in 2018

These are the themes and plants predicted to dominate in the coming 12 months, writes Hannah Stephenson.

How to brick up a window like a pro

Being a brickie isn’t easy. Richard Burr reveals how to master the moves.

It’s time to get your home back in order after the festive season, but where do you dispose of your Christmas tree? We offer 3 recycling tips.

Festive season is in full flow, but soon it will be time to think about ditching the decorations and making more space for your home once again. But how should you dispose of your tree?

Comment: Stamp duty rises may be hitting more than just the property market

Are the stamp duty hikes doing more harm to the UK economy than just strangling the residential property market, asks Glentree Estates director Trevor Abrahmsohn

Landlord offers two-bedroom flat in King’s Cross to homeless for free over Christmas

Laurence Lameche, who now runs a property business but was formerly homeless himself, is looking for a single person, couple or family in need of somewhere to stay during the festive period

For sale: Highgate Mansion formerly home to Nobel Prize winner

An exceptionally restored Victorian mansion that was formerly home to a Nobel Prize winner is now on the market on Bishopswood Road, Highgate.

Most Read

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

2018 © Archant Community Media Ltd

Terms and conditions | Cookie policy | Jobs at Archant