Time to pick that perfect Christmas tree

There's more to decide than real or artificial

Tips for picking the best Christmas tree

BEND, Ore. - Move over turkey, it's Christmas tree season -- and Oregon is the Christmas tree capital of the world.

Right after the Thanksgiving weekend, tree stands start popping up all over the area.

Chuck Cockburn with Tom's Trees in Bend says once the turkey is gone, it's time to think green.

"People get so excited. Thanksgiving kind of kicks it off, and then people get really excited," Cockburn said Monday.

But before you go rocking around the Christmas tree, Cockburn offers a few tips to make sure you're picking the right tree for you.

"You can grab the bristles and pull hard and make sure not a lot of them are falling off -- that's a good indication of a healthy tree," he said. "And people have their preferences, so some like the thinner ones, others like them bushier -- whatever works to hang the ornaments."

Speaking of ornaments, after you pick out the tree and hang the decorations, it's important to keep it away from any heat sources and well hydrated with water.

Of course, when it to Christmas trees, not everyone goes for the real deal.

"We have had a fake tree for the past five or six years and decided to go with a real one this year for the kiddos," said Bend resident Jason Billings.

Only 30 percent of Americans buy real Christmas trees  and will cost you anywhere from $15 to $120.

About 45 percent opt for artificial ones, which can run upwards of $600 for a 12-foot tree.

Christmas tree buying, Cockburn says, is about the experience.

"It's a lot of fun for families, take their time, pick the right one out, bring the kids and just have fun," he said.

If you want to trek out into the forest and cut down your own tree, you're going to need a $5 permit, available from the Deschutes and Ochoco national forests and many vendors around Central Oregon.

You can cut down up to five trees at a time, but need a $5 permit for each tree.

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