Tree Tips: Real vs. Fake

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Knoxville (WVLT) - Whether it's the smell, the tradition, or the shape, there's
something about a real Christmas tree that keeps people from buying artificial

But before you head out to a tree lot, there are some things you should know
about picking the perfect tree.

Christmas would not be Christmas for Irene Matthews without a real tree.

"I have to have a cut tree because they just smell so good and they remind
me of Christmas," says Matthews. "We have 18 foot ceilings so we're
looking for a tall one and something that's pretty narrow, not too full."

For an 8 foot tree you'll pay anywhere from $30 to $60.

But the taller the tree, the higher the price tag.

"We have unusually larger trees, one larger tree that will run around
250 dollars," says Ben Cordes, from Oakes Family Christmas Trees.

Frazier fur, grown in the Smoky Mountains and North Carolina, is most popular
to East Tennessee.

The weather and temperature this year made for a very good crop.

"Short needles, they're a little bit thicker, as far as the dense leaf
structure and the branch structure," says Cordes.

"The color and shape are two important things to look for when picking
out your tree, but to make sure it's healthy, there's one thing that you should
always do."

"The first thing I would do would be to pull on the needles and see if
any of them come off in your hands, the branches ought to be pliable,"
once you find your tree, Claxton Mayo with Mayo Garden Centers says cut the
bottom, and for the first time, put it in hot water. "It would be good
to take a hose and sprinkle it, water it down every day or every other day."

Matthews likes to use molasses, she says it helps the scent last. "There's
just something about the smell of a Christmas tree that just, it just kind of
warms you."

Claxton says her trick doesn't hurt, but water is the most important part of
maintaining your tree.

It's also important to remember to keep your tree away from a fireplace in your
home and keep it watered so it doesn't dry out, which could also cause a fire.

Close any vents near the tree, and keep the temperature down in the room, hot
temperatures can damage your tree.

Here are a couple of sites where you can find some tips for you real tree: