It has been a tradition carried on many decades to decorate the Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving, signaling the start of the Christmas season. Since Thanksgiving has come and gone, many are gearing up to find the perfect tree for their home.

When seeking a tree, many are turning to real Christmas trees, as it adds an extra layer of Christmas spirit to a household with its fresh smell and feel. Searching for the right tree can be a difficult task.

According to the National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA), the following tips are important to keep in mind when selecting your tree:

-Measure your space: Be sure to get measure the width and height of the area where you are placing your tree before purchasing it. You don't want to get too big of a tree where it won't be able to fit in your designated space.

-Think about your decorations: Some tree species offer more foliage or stiffer and longer needles for heavier decorations. It's best to talk to workers at the tree retailer about what kind of tree you are looking for.

-Tree safety: It's important to remember to visit retail lots that are well lit and one that stores trees in shaded areas.

-Do a freshness test: In order to see how fresh the tree is, run a branch through your enclosed hand. If needles come off easily, you may want to consider another tree that is more fresh. If the branches snap easily, that is a sign of a dry tree. Other signs include excessive needle loss, a musty odor, discolored needles and wrinkled bark.

In Ascension, there is an abundant locations offering real trees throughout the Parish. Locations include Lowe's, Home Depot, Walmart, Louisiana Nursery in Prarieville and Outdoor Living Landscape & Nursery in Gonzales.