Julia Malakie
Doug Times and his father Ken Times, both of Tewksbury, with Christmas trees for sale at their family owned Lawndale Farms on Frost Road. (SUN/Julia Malakie)

After coming up for air this Thanksgiving holiday, it’s time to get in the holiday spirit.

It’s not even December, but homes and businesses are sporting Christmas lights and decorations. Christmas tunes are playing in most stores. And cars are zooming down streets with Christmas trees tied to the roof.

There are a number of local places to pick up your tree this year, but let’s hear from the experts about what you should be looking for.

Choosing your tree

Picking the perfect Christmas tree first comes down finding a tree with a good base, according to Douglas Times, of Lawndale Farm in Tyngsboro.

“Check the base to see if sap is running out of it and that it’s not hard and stiff,” Times said. “You can also run your hands on the needles. It should feel pliable, not hard and crunchy.”

When choosing a pre-cut tree, Times says to make sure there is a fresh cut at the bottom.

Balsam trees tend to be most popular on Lawndale Farm, according to Times. He said these trees tend to be wider and more fragrant. Frasier trees are also becoming more popular. These, he said, have thicker branches, which hold its needles better and can support heavier ornaments.

John Hussey, from D.J. Hussey Farm in Townsend, said concolor trees are popular, but he has noticed a lot of people like frasiers. On the D.J. Hussey Farm, customers cut their own trees, so they never have to worry about not having a fresh cut.

Joe Burke, the nursery manager at Mahoney’s Garden Center in Tewksbury, said in the 10 years he’s worked in the nursery, the biggest mistake he has seen customers make is choosing a tree too large for their room.

Burke said if you run your hand along the branches of a good Christmas tree, the needles should feel soft and not excessively fall out.

“Make sure it has some weight to it and is not light and dried out,” he said.

Maintaining your tree

Like any other plant in your home, Christmas trees need to be watered. Hussey advises watering the tree daily. He also said some of the older stands do not have a big enough reservoir for the trees.

“If they run out of water, the sap seals off, it’ll stop taking water and they’ll lose needles,” Hussey said. “Once you’ve got a tree up and decorated, it’s pretty tough to take it down to recut it in order to reestablish a good transfer of water.”

Burke agreed that watering your tree is the best thing to do to help with extending its life. Mahoney’s also sells a water additive called

“Keep it away from sources of hear that will dry it out,” Burke said. “If you let it dry out, it’s not really going to recover.”

Cost of your tree

The cost of a Christmas tree will vary depending on the type of tree and its height. While some will opt for a smaller three-foot tree, others go all out with a domineering 15-foot tree.

At Lawndale Farm, trees can cost $25 to $200. A typical six-foot balsam is about $30 at the farm; frasiers run about $5 more, according to Times.

At D.J. Hussey Farm, prices are only determined by the height. All trees up to eight feet are a flat rate of $65. Trees taller than eight feet are an additional $15.

At Mahoney’s, there is a special for six- to eight-foot balsam trees for $29.50 while supplies last. Frasier trees are little bit more pricey, beginning at $40 for a six-foot tree. However, taller trees are more expensive..