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How To Pick and Keep The Perfect Christmas Tree

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RALEIGH — Picking out the perfect pine can be a tough job, but keeping it fresh is easy if you know what to do.

The National Christmas Tree Association says about 33 million Americans will buy a real tree this year, but the Frasier fur may turn foul before Santa arrives.

Darrell Worley has been selling Christmas trees for 25 years. He says it is extremely important to make a fresh cut on the base.

If you do not, the tree seals itself and cannot draw water.

"If it takes water, it will be green all the way through January," Worley said. "No problem."

Karen Ter Meer, a tree shopper, says she tries not to do anything extra to the tree.

"Just trim it again," Ter Meer said. "That's the main thing I do."

Whatever you do, do not cut any bark off to make your tree fit into a smaller tree stand.

Worley says the tree uses the bark to take in water.

"It goes up that tree in the outer quarter of an inch all the way around the trunk," Worley said. "A lot of people will not fit the stand, and they'll hack it, and they'll saw it."

"They'll chop it, and they'll skin the bark all the way around," Worley said.

You may have heard some old wives' tales about how to keep your tree fresh by mixing 7-up in the water, dissolving aspiring in it, or adding water and a little bit of sugar.

Worley says that stuff is not worth bothering with.

"The tree has been growing all its life with water," he said. "Nobody gives it 7Up or aspirin. Water works really good."

Worley also says it is not a big deal if shoppers buy a tree that has been cut for a week or two. He says to just take another slice off the bottom, stick it in water, and keep watering it.

The main thing: do not let the tree get dry.

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Lynda Loveland, Reporter
Lynn French, Photographer
Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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