There are two types of people in the world: Those who swear by artificial Christmas trees and those who only have eyes for the real deal. This year the latter group has won some new members. According to reports, merrymakers are flocking to tree farms at record-setting rates, choosing to select (and sometimes even chop!) their own fresh-cut fir as a way to end the difficult year on a deliciously fragrant high note. If you’re worried about crowds, you can even snag one on Amazon

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Fresh Cut Real Christmas Tree, Amazon ($177)
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With many buyers identifying as first-timers, though, understanding tree care is crucial. Read on for our tips on how to keep your holiday centerpiece healthy through the 25th and beyond. 

Make a Cut

If your tree was precut, ask the seller to sliver an inch or two off the trunk to give it a fresh start. Cutting the trunk at an angle or into a V-shape makes it harder for your tree to soak up water, so aim for a perpendicular slice, recommends Houzz.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate 

Upon arriving home, put your tree in water as soon as possible. Krinner’s Genie, which uses a foot pedal to secure your tree and holds almost three gallons of water to keep it quenched, will simplify the hair-raising process of getting your new greenery situated.

Play It Cool

When it comes to ideal tree temps, the chillier the better. Keeping yours in the low 60s will help deter the drying process. Also remember to arrange the evergreen away from immediate heat sources like a cozy fireplace or direct sunlight.

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