December 10, 2021

How to Pick a Christmas Tree Like a Russian


How to Pick a Christmas Tree Like a Russian
Russians take their holiday tree decorating very seriously.  Photo by TJ Holowaychuk via Unsplash

Vladislav Pukharev operates an online shop specializing in Christmas trees (or New Year's trees, as they are called in Russia), and he recently spoke with the website Vechernyaya Moskva to give Moscovites some best tips for selecting their own holiday greenery

Pukharev's first tip emphasized the importance of appearance. A tree should be slender and even in shape with no missing branches. Color is also important; a natural shade of green denotes a healthy spruce tree. 

Another evergreen tip is to consider the height of the tree in relation to your apartment before bringing it back home. An enormous tree is an excellent idea, until you remember that you live in an apartment building built in the Soviet era

To test for the quality of the tree, Pukharev recommends giving the tree a light shake and counting the number of needles that might fall off. For some tree varieties (such as the Russian spruce) it is acceptable for 10-20 needles to fall off the tree, especially if it is stressed (like when you are removing it from the package or bringing it inside your home). But for other tree varieties (like firs and pines), no green needles should fall off the tree. 

Pukharev leaves a final warning to Russians looking to buy holiday trees from unauthorized retailers. Apparently, in Russia, you can be fined for purchasing a tree from a seller who doesn't have the proper documents, and it is even a criminal offense to transport a spruce tree without the proper documentation. Deck the halls with caution, everyone! 

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