Some people spend 10 minutes putting up an artificial, pre-lit tree — and then another 10 minutes throwing some tinsel and ornaments on it.

And other people march into the woods, cut their own tree and drive it home — making the experience a full-day activity.

If you are cutting your own tree down this year — or even if you choose to purchase a live tree from a lot — here are some important things to remember:

  • When choosing a tree, use your senses and even shake your tree to gauge its condition. If it doesn’t look, smell and feel hearty, move along and choose a different tree.
  • In general, freshly cut trees last longer than those purchased from a lot. And, unlike live trees sold at stores, the trunks of freshly cut trees do not necessarily need to be recut before going in the stand.
  • Be sure to water your live tree daily throughout the holiday season. For each inch of stem diameter, trees need up to a quart of water daily.
  • Take special care when decorating your tree. Use electric lights in good condition, don’t overload outlets and turn off the lights before going to bed or leaving your home.

For details on how to obtain a permit to cut a fresh tree, click here.