MPR News' Tim Post shows us that selecting the right tree for the Christmas holiday takes dressing properly for the winter elements, having the right tool for the job and knowing what type of tree is the best fit for each home.
And, via our Minnesota Christmas tree buying guide, here are the pros and cons to each type of evergreen you might come across this December:
Canaan and balsam firs: These are usually nicely shaped and great for decorating. They sometimes cost a little less than Fraser firs, but you'll definitely pay more than for a pine. These trees have very short needles but watch out -- they will be all over your house if your tree gets too dry. Don't plan on keeping this tree for more than four to six weeks.
Fraser fir: Frasers are like the Cadillacs of Christmas trees. They have sturdier branches than the other two common types of fir trees. Demand is higher for them, so best go searching early if your heart's set on one. You'll also probably pay a little more. Frasers have short needles and are usually nicely shaped.
Spruce: There are several different varieties of spruce trees, but generally their needles are pricklier than firs and pines, perhaps good at keeping curious pets away. Branches are strong. Spruce trees usually are not able to hold their needles as long as other types of Christmas trees, so don't plan on keeping this tree for more than three weeks. Among them, blue spruce is best for needle retention.
White pine: This tree has long, soft needles and branches and can't handle heavy decorations. Most white pines used for Christmas trees are dyed with a food-grade dye because white pines naturally turn a bronze color in the winter.
Norway pine: This tree has long, dark green needles and sturdy branches. It's Minnesota's state tree, but it appears to be less common on Christmas tree farms of late. It's also known as the red pine because of its reddish bark. Scotch pine: This tree has medium-length needles and good needle retention. Branches are strong. Tree growers trim these in the shape of Christmas trees, but watch out for especially bushy ones that leave little room to hang ornaments. One of the best things about this tree is its bargain price compared to firs and spruce.