Christmas tree shopping tips and how to keep your tree looking fresh

LEWISTON, ID - It's the season to buy Christmas trees and we've got some tips to pass along.

It's the first week of December and The All Saints Catholic School Christmas Tree lot is nearly a third of the way sold, according to volunteer Bridget Albright. Albright and her family have already bought a seven foot tree from the philanthropic lot this year, to get in the holiday spirit early.

"Our ceiling is high and I think it's great for the kids," said Albright. "That's what Christmas is all about for the kids."

Albright said the different types of trees come from near Enterprise, Oregon and the Oregon coast.

"I personally like the ones that are kind of like the Charlie Brown trees, that the ornaments hang down," said Albright. "To me on the bushy ones, the ornaments lay on top."

Washington State University plant pathologist and Christmas tree expert Gary Chastagner said that when you're picking out a Christmas tree this year, check for tell-tale signs to see if the tree is already drying out and dying.

"The most important thing in selecting a tree is to determine whether or not there's any evidence shedding of green needles," said Chastagner. "You can do this by rubbing the branches with your hands or tap the base on the ground."

If a tree is dropping brown needles from the inside, Chastagner said that's normal and the tree is fine for purchase. To avoid a dry tree catching on fire, be sure to turn off all lights near and on the tree off when you leave the house and keep a large basin of water regularly filled at the base of the tree.

"I would definitely recommend, to keep them watered," said Albright. "Keep them away from fireplaces the heat dries them out, and probably close any vents that the trees are around."

For those who can brave the wilderness like the Griswold family, head over to the Nez Perce-Clearwater National Forests, and pick a tree of a your liking. All you need is your own chainsaw, some willing helpers and a $5 permit.