Years ago buying a tree was a relatively simple exercise as there was one choice of variety. Nowadays, there are many varieties so here's a handy guide:

Norway Spruce: Often considered as the most traditional of Christmas trees, the classic Norway Spruce has retained a prime position in the 'real' tree market, perhaps due to its lingering pine scent and low price. The trees are often bushy in shape and have mid-green pointed needles that can be prone to dropping if they dry out too much. It's possible to keep needle drop to a minimum by watering the tree frequently, and especially so if it is positioned in a toasty, centrally heated room.

Nordman Fir: Firmly placed as the nation's favourite 'real' tree, the Nordman Fir has gained popularity for its ability to tightly grip its needles. This, of course, makes walking barefoot around the tree possible, and if a needle were to drop, its soft texture is unlikely to inflict any pain. These attractive-looking trees have glossy, rich green foliage on tiered branches that make ideal platforms to display decorative baubles and coloured lights. The Nordman Fir is usually the priciest tree option, largely due to its strong needle holding ability.

Fraser Fir: The highly perfumed and narrow Fraser Fir is a suitable option when space is at a premium. It often has a slim, conical shape that is filled with bushy branches and greeny-silver needles. In the wild these trees can grow pretty tall reaching up to 15 metres in height. Needle retention is very good and its strong balsam scent will keep the Christmas smell in the house throughout the festive period.

Positioning your pine
The ideal location for a pine tree is in a corner away from direct heat and safe from excited toddlers, tail-wagging pets and merry adults. If mains-powered tree lights are being used, accessibility to a plug socket is necessary.

Measure up
To avoid sawing off the top or bottom of your newly bought pine do take a tape measure with you when you buy your tree as whilst heights will be clearly marked on labels, widths vary. Do make allowances for all the decorative extras too such as the tree topper - you don't want to squash the Christmas star or fairy against the ceiling.

Exmouth Journal: Children love to help choose the Christmas treeChildren love to help choose the Christmas tree (Image: Getty)

Places to buy a real Christmas tree:

Connetts Farm, Dunkeswell
Connetts Farm in Dunkeswell sells a variety of Nordman, Norway and Frasier Fir trees of all different shapes and sizes, starting from as little as £5. The trees can be delivered or chosen and picked directly from the field. Other items for sale include Christmas wreaths, Christmas garlands and all-year-round produce. Call 01404 891684

Otter Garden Centre, Ottery St Mary
Once again the Christmas displays at Otter Garden Centre in Ottery St Mary are as beautiful as ever. There is an abundance of Christmas decorations and real trees for sale, with late-night opening on Wednesdays. Visit or call 01404 815815

Cotley Farm, Ottery St Mary
Cotley Farm, near Ottery St Mary, grow quality, freshly cut real Christmas trees that are for sale until December 24. The on-site Christmas shop is full of beautiful decorations, Christmas wreaths, and tasty local produce. Pre-booking a visiting slot online is essential, to help monitor numbers. Call 01404 823193

Combe Garden Centre, Honiton
A plethora of Christmas decorations, houseplants and real premium trees await visitors to Combe Garden Centre in Honiton. The most popular size tree is a 6ft premium grade for only £35, followed by a 7ft for £40. For more details see or call 01404 515600

Places to recycle your real Christmas Tree:
You can recycle your real Christmas tree in your green waste bin, ensuring that the branches are no thicker than 100mm. Alternatively, you can take it to one of these locations:

Axminster: West Street car park on Monday, January 3 from 12.30pm to 2.30pm

Budleigh Salterton: Lime Kiln car park on Tuesday, January 4 from 8.30am to 11.30am

Cranbrook: The Cranberry Farm on Wednesday, January 5 from 8.30am to 11.30am

Exmouth: Imperial Road car park on Monday, January 3 Jan from 8.30am to 2pm

Honiton: Lace Walk car park on Tuesday, 4 January 4 from 8.30am to 11.30am

Ottery St Mary: Land of Canaan car park on Tuesday, January from 12.30pm to 2.30pm

Seaton: Seaton Jurassic car park on Monday, January 3 from 8.30am to 11.30am

Sidmouth: Manor Road car park on Wednesday, January 5 from 8.30am to 12pm