PARAMUS, N.J.(CBSNewYork) — Christmas is quickly approaching and for many people that means it’s time to pick a tree.

Customers at Eisele’s Nursery & Garden Center in Paramus said they know exactly what they’re looking for.

“I always try to make sure the base is nice and straight,” Tom Fiore told CBS2’s Elise Finch.

Experts advised checking the needles. Owner Rudy Eisele said his best-selling Frasier Fir trees have thick needles that are sturdy and give them great color, which is also important.

“Run your finger over the needle branches themselves, it shouldn’t come off. If they’re raining off that’s a tree you don’t want,” Rudy said.

Experts also said you might see brown needles near the bottom of the tree or deep inside near the trunk, but if you see brown needles on the outside of the tree that means the tree is very dry and probably won’t last long indoors.

Plant food can help a tree look its best for a month or longer, but Eisele said adequate water is what really matters.

Before customers take a tree off his lot, employees make a fresh-cut on the bottom of the tree to make sure it can absorb water.

Unfortunately for allergy sufferers there is no ideal tree, Dr. Clifford Bassett, Allergy & Asthma Care of New York, said.

“There is mold on the pine needles. As it sits in your home for a couple of days the mold doubles and one out of seven of us have mold allergies,” he explained.

Bassett said hosing a tree down and drying it off before bringing it inside will reduce mold spores on the tree. If that’s not an option he suggested keeping the tree for seven days or less. That will let you enjoy the smell and look of a real tree while minimizing irritation, and eliminating most maintenance.

If you are shopping now, experts suggested placing the tree away from heat sources and to water it so it will last through Christmas.


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