Choosing the perfect Christmas tree

News Photo by Steve Schulwitz Carol Erickson browses Christmas trees Sunday afternoon in Alpena. People have many different opinions on what a perfect Christmas tree consists of.

ALPENA — Some people like a lot of lights and bulbs on their Christmas tree, while others like a tree that is more conservative with simple lighting and a few strands of tinsel.

What the “perfect” Christmas tree consists of however, changes according to the eye of the beholder.

The first choice people make before putting up a tree is to use an artificial tree, or a freshly cut real one. According to Michigan State Extension Senior Extension Educator Jill O’Donnell there are several things a person should do while picking a real tree. She said making sure the trunk of the tree is straight is important and checking the health of it is recommended as well.

“Pull on gone branches a little and if it is healthy most of the needles will stay on it,” she said. “If a lot come off then it could be too dry and maybe not as fresh as you would want.”

O’Donnell said to be sure to cut a small piece of the trunk off before putting it in a stand because it will make it easier for the tree to draw water from it.

Dana Scull said she has an artificial tree, but it is a nice quality one and looks quite real. She said she likes having lots of lights on the tree and her angel tree-top decoration is the most important ornament on it.

“I have hundreds of clear lights and the angel lit up on top,” Scull said. “I don’t think any tree is perfect, but I think when mine is done it is close.”

Scull’s mother Martha is quite the opposite when it comes to her taste in Christmas trees. She said she has had a real tree for decades and remembers when she was a girl when her father put candles on the family tree on Christmas Eve. She said she doesn’t use candles now, but still like blinking, colorful lights and lots of tinsel.

“I don’t think anything can beat the elegance of the trees my dads decorated when I was a girl, but I like a lot of tinsel and I the way it reflects the colors from the lights,” she said. “All Christmas trees are beautiful I think though.”

Ryan Sczewski said there are two Christmas trees in his home and both are artificial. He said one is large and has a lot of colorful bulbs, lights and candy canes, while the second is smaller.

“The main tree is in the living room in front of the window where everyone can see it,” Sczewski said. “Then we have a small one that is in the family room with the fireplace. Those are the rooms where we spend most of our time, so we always have a tree in each.”

Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews.