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      The ''perfect'' Christmas tree

      When deciding on your family Christmas tree, consider what you pine for--do you want a Balsam or a Spruce? Both are short-needled trees and native to the Upper Peninsula.

      What about a Douglas Fir? It's famous for holding its needles practically until Valentine's Day.

      As you're out shopping for a tree, it's important to keep in mind that not all Christmas trees are created equal.

      "The Spruce is a little more fragrant than a Pine or Fir," said Eric Meister, owner of Meister Greenhouses.

      After you decide on what type of tree you like best, you then must consider--size.

      Most trees will run you anywhere from $18 to $25.

      "A lot of times, people pick out a tree and it looks a lot smaller outside, and then it seems to grow when you bring it indoors," Meister commented.

      Throughout the years, Meister has helped hundreds of families continue their holiday tradition of bringing home a Christmas tree and keeping it alive and well. He recommends giving your tree a fresh cut before you put it on display, and then give it plenty of water.

      "The most important thing is to keep water in the base," Meister stated. "Ideally, you'd want to have a stand that will hold a large capacity of water."

      Don't be surprised if your tree drinks as much as a gallon of water a day. By keeping it hydrated, your tree should last you through the holiday season.

      Within the next two weeks says Meister, 85 percent of his trees will be sold. Now that doesn't mean you'll be left emptyhanded...if you decide to wait closer to Christmas, you'll just have less trees to choose from.