The Christmas tree. Is there a more enduring and endearing symbol of the holiday season than a beautifully decorated tree with presents underneath? I don't think so. And while we all have our own thoughts and opinions of what we want "our" Christmas tree to look like. I think we all can agree that having a tree, or two or in the case around our house seven, really makes the season bright.

Many of you, like myself, opt for a "real" tree as opposed to an artificial one. I think it's a matter of personal preference and family traditions that actually determine the real versus artificial debate. And while artificial trees certainly offer ease of setup, ease of decoration, and ease in acquiring, there is something very special about choosing just the perfect tree to bring home for Christmas.

For some of us, that means a visit to a local Christmas tree retailer near where we live, yet for others, the thought of a tree that was cut in another state, transported in a truck, and has been sitting drying out for days is just unappealing. For those people, that's where the "choose and cut" aspect of a Christmas tree appears to be the better solution.

Cara Grobbelaar via Unsplash.com
Cara Grobbelaar via Unsplash.com
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Are There Choose and Cut Christmas Tree Farms in Louisiana?

According to the  Louisiana Department of Agriculture website, there are more than 20 different such farms across the state. Here's the list.

What's the Benefit of a Choose and Cut Christmas Tree

Well, that depends. Are you wanting to be practical or are you just keeping up appearances? It really doesn't matter because with a choose and cut tree you can get both. For appearance's sake, you can actually see what the tree looks like with its limbs all spread out. The tree farmer can also do a little trimming while you watch just to make sure the look is perfect for your needs.

Sean Foster via Unsplash.com
Sean Foster via Unsplash.com
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Are Choose and Cut Trees Safer?

We can't go all the way out on that limb to make that qualifying statement but we can say that choose and cut trees are generally fresher than their store-purchased counterparts. Granted many tree retailers do go to extraordinary efforts to keep their trees hydrated and fresh so they will look great in your home and not become a fire hazard.

Hannah Skelly via Unsplash.com
Hannah Skelly via Unsplash.com
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Choose and Cut Christmas Tree Farms Offer More of a Holiday Experience

If you're deciding to visit a choose and cut farm in Louisiana, there are more than 20 of them, you're not just going to go out and pick up a tree and leave. Many of these Louisiana farm families use this time of year to not only offer trees but things like hayrides, holiday pageants, refreshments, and live music to make "the day we got the tree" even more magical.

colinfurze via YouTube
colinfurze via YouTube
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What Else Should You Know Before You Choose and Cut Your Christmas Tree?

My first piece of advice would be to measure how tall your ceiling is. Tell your husband or father that "eyeballing" won't work. You really need to know how much room is under your roof. Also, bring that tape measure to the farm with you. A tree might be listed as six feet tall but it's actually six feet five inches tall, which makes a big difference.

You'll probably want to either bring your own stand or be prepared to purchase a stand at the farm. I find having the stand attached while the tree is laying down makes it much easier to stand it up when you get it home.

Oh, and get a good vacuum cleaner too, you're going to have tree needles in your car, in your house, on your kids, and the dog will probably have some on him too.

Christin Hume via Unsplash.com
Christin Hume via Unsplash.com
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Now, if you need more advice on proper tree care and maintenance, check out this checklist from the Louisiana Department of Agriculture.

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