THE PERFECT TREE
Fake or real – it’s the same dilemma every year. If you prefer real, finding the right one takes a bit of research. Expert opinion varies as to when you should buy, but the later you leave it, the fresher it will be on 25 December and prices tend to come down as sellers don’t want to be saddled with stock after Christmas Day.
British grower Needlefresh has a handy guide to tree care including a timetable of when best to buy – they say around 8 or 9 December. If you choose an early date, go for a Nordman fir, as the needles won’t drop, unlike a Norway spruce, which costs less but needle drop is more likely.
Look for a local grower if possible
– the British Christmas Tree Growers Association (bctga.co.uk) will point you towards your nearest one.
Before you buy, measure the room height and find a space away from radiators or open fires. A corner near a light socket for fairy lights is best. Place it in a container of water and refill regularly. Peruvian 7ft fake pine tree, £195; star decorations, £5 each; llama cushion, £30; rug, £330; all John Lewis