YORKTOWN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Randy Pratt runs Wilkens Farm in Yorktown Heights and recently welcomed Sarah and Charlie Shipman.

For Sarah, a Christmas tree from nature was something new.

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“I had a fake tree growing up, so this feels a lot more festive,” she told CBS2’s Dave Carlin.

Drone Force 2 showed the farm’s vast selection.

The Shipmans came prepared, knowing exactly how tall a tree they needed.

“Measure your ceiling heights, come to the farm knowing the ceiling heights, and measure your trees so you don’t buy a tree that’s too tall,” Pratt said.

Pratt said don’t just eye the tree, grab it by the branches and needles.

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“Pull down the branch, if you get a hand full of needles, the tree is too dry,” he said.

Christmas trees need a lot of water, and you should never let one get bone dry.

“Once it runs out of water, then the sap hardens on the bottom, and then the trunk won’t absorb the water again,” he said.

At Wilkens Farm, about 25,000 trees are growing at any given time. About 1,000 are put up for sale each season.

The Shipmans said their pick was perfect.

“We do like just white lights on it,” Sarah said before they brought the tree back to their Hastings on Hudson home.

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Some people say adding 7 Up, Asprin or Alka-Seltzer to your tree’s water will help keep it alive longer, but Pratt said not to bother, all you need is water.