Finding the perfect Christmas tree takes hard work and determination. This is a task that is not for the weak of heart. It's important that you make this a family affair. If you go by yourself, you have instantly lowered your chances to get the best tree out there. (Plus, who wants all that responsibility anyway?)
Having the proper number of scouts is also imperative: you want to cover as muchg round as possible to beat out other tree seekers. But, the most important component of tree hunting is to remain patient. Rarely are you going to walk out and find the greatest tree within in the first couple of minutes of your venture. In fact, you're probably more apt to find a Charlie Brown Christmas tree. Better get the Thermos of hot chocolate ready because this can be a long day.
Another question you need to ask yourself is whether you want a Douglas fir or a Fraser fir. Both are top choices among Christmas tree buyers and usually it comes down to personal preference. Douglas fir has longer needles and can give the tree a more fuller look. The Fraser fir needles will hold longer, and also has that classic Christmas smell to it. Personally, I am a Fraser fir guy.
Veteran Christmas tree hunters cut their own tree down. They understand that you pay for the quality time with friends and not just the tree. I am sure places such as Home Depot have quality Christmas trees, but why not spend a few more dollars to a) having an enjoyable time choosing and cutting down your own tree and b) supporting a local business? Definitely make sure you take the extra time cutting down your own tree. No one talks about what a great time they had finding a tree in a pile.
There are several places on the west side of town and in Exeter where you can get the great experience of cutting down your own tree, and they are all right next to each other. Located on Route 2, Hemsley Tree Farm, Schartner Farms and Stop and Chop Tree Farm. (Check out our Christmas tree guide to learn more about these three businesses.) All three spots are great places to look, and because they are in close proximity, it is easy to go to all three in one day if you need to. The past two years I have gotten my family's tree at Schartners and Stop and Chop, both times getting two very full and beautiful Christmas trees.
So put on your flannel shirt and Carhartt pants, sharpen that saw and get the hot cocoa ready, because its' time to find that tree!