Are We There Yet? Christmas Tree Shopping

Whether you get your holiday evergreen from a local lot or a nearby tree farm, read on for a few tips on how to shop for and transport Santa’s favorite without becoming a road hazard or potentially damaging your vehicle.

Before you leave the house, measure the height of the room where you plan to display the tree; it should be at least a foot taller than the conifer you buy. Also make sure to measure your car's interior storage area and roof to ensure you’ll get your tree safely home.

As the Christmas Tree Capital of the world, Nova Scotia has lots of options to ensure the perfect tree that’s sure to impress good ole St. Nick.

Christmas tree lots throughout HRM have already begun popping up all over so you’ll have tons of selection before the big day. If you like to make it more of an adventure, we are also blessed with many tree farms near HRM where you can take the family out and select a tree to cut down yourself… this is great fun for the family and will ensure a fresh tree that will last through the holiday season.

Make sure to select a tree that will fit your measured space at home, cargo area or on top of your roof properly. Also ensure that you have enough rope or cord to wrap around the tree and secure it to the roof rack or to cargo hooks. And, if you’re heading out to cut your own; be sure to bring some work gloves and a tree saw (I use a cordless reciprocating saw).

Our kids & dog always enjoy the day which is much more fun when we have some snow on the ground. We recommend that you top off the event with brunch at one of the friendly local eaterys. The Kiwi Café in Chester or The Spitfire Arms in Windsor are a great choice. 

When the picking is done try to ensure that your tree is netted; pre-cut trees are generally netted already and most U-Cut lots will do this for you. This will help keep the branches tightly bundled. No net? Shake the tree to rid it of loose needles then wrap it in a blanket or tarp. This makes your tree less bulky and prone to catching the wind and becoming loose.

If an employee at a tree farm or lot suggests how to secure the tree-listen to them. These individuals help hundreds of people get their trees home safely and know what they are talking about.

Place a tarp or blanket over the roof or in your cargo area to protect the interior from loose needles and eliminate the potential for any scratch damage to your car. Make sure they have an adequate amount of rope or bungee cord to secure the tree. Arrange the tree so that the stump end faces the front of your vehicle. It's also important to make sure the tree does not obstruct a driver's ability to see out of the rear window of their vehicle. Before leaving the lot, give the tree a good tug to make sure it's secure enough to make it home safely.

Drive slowly and avoid the highway, especially if you're not used to hauling heavy objects on your roof. They affect your vehicle's center of gravity and consequently emergency handling.

Once home, get the tree out of the wind and sun as soon as possible, even if you're not putting it in the stand right away, putting it in a bucket of water will minimize damage to the foliage. Always cut about an inch off the bottom just before you put it up in the stand. The fresh cut will help your tree take water and help it last.

The Christmas Tree Council of Nova Scotia website has tons of useful information and links to local retailers and U-Cut locations throughout the province.

Some of our favorite U-Cut locations that let you choose and cut christmas trees are:

Elderbank U-pick – Elderbank, Tel: 384-2536

Northern Lights Christmas Tree Farms – Lake Charlotte, Tel: 641-2142.

Corkum's Forest Products U-Pick – Falmouth. Tel: 798-2512.

Hogan's U-Pick – Mount Uniacke. Tel: 866-2392.

Scothorn Farms, Ltd. – plus weekend wagon rides, Wreaths, Brush; Milford Station. Tel: 758-1890. Email:

Sam’s Tree Farm – Windsor. Tel: 798-3404 or 542-7113.


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