2015-12-02 / Features

Size & Safety Count When Chopping Your Own Tree

By Liz Goff
Many Queens families are starting a new holiday tradition, heading into the “woods” to chop down their own Christmas tree.

No matter if your family has a tradition of cutting your own Christmas tree, or if you have decided to brave the elements this year to start a new tradition, choosing and cutting your own evergreen can be a fun experience.

First things first, experts said. Make sure you measure the space you have in your home or apartment for a tree before you turn amateur woodsman. By doing so, you should be able to get an approximate price for the tree you need from farms in your area.

After choosing a tree farm near you, make sure your family is wearing weather appropriate shoes and clothing. Call the farm to find out if you must bring your own tools, or if the farm provides tools needed to complete the job. And remember to keep all sharp tools out of the reach of young children.

Make sure your vehicle is equipped to carry the tree home. Don’t drive a sports car to a tree farm to transport a 7-foot fir back to the city. Bring heavy string, twine, or other accessories needed to tie the tree to your vehicle (if it doesn’t fit in your trunk or the back of your vehicle.)

When you arrive at the farm, ask a farmhand or clerk for advice on how to stay safe while cutting the tree. A few moments of conversation can help prevent unnecessary injury.

Christmas tree farms are located in Suffolk County, New Jersey, Connecticut and Westchester. Experts suggest you go online for a listing of farms in towns and areas nearest to you.

Make sure you have a place to store the tree if you don’t plan to immediately put it up inside your home or apartment. Homeowners are advised to make room in a garage or other interior location. Apartment dwellers should think twice before they store their tree on a fire escape, fire officials said. They could face a fine, since the spruce is considered an escape hazard.

Experts said it’s never a good idea to choose a larger tree to obtain fullness, thinking you can cut it down to size when you get home. Trying to cut and re-shape a large tree in your driveway simply does not work, experts said.           

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