There's nothing like a perfectly-shaped, aromatic live Christmas tree to fill a room with holiday spirit. Finding that perfect Christmas tree can be a challenge, but with a little planning and smart shopping, your Christmas morning showpiece will be in the bag. Below there's a list of places to buy a Christmas tree in Pinellas County, but first a few tips before heading out to select your family's and Santa's gift overhang.

First: have a plan before you start shopping. Measure the size of your space by both width and height. It'll keep you from needing a saw to get your new purchase in the door. 

Next: Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you don’t see your perfect tree. Make friends with the lot owners and tell them exactly what you seek. If more trees are being delivered in the next few days, the lot owner might put one matching your specifications aside for you.

Inspecting a tree is key to finding the one that’s right for you. Heavy trees are the best as they are full of water. The tree should be fresh and fragrant with a rich green color, and needles should be resilient. Wrap your hand around a branch and pull it toward you; most of the needles should stay on the tree.   Branches should be pliable and bend without much resistance. Lift the tree a few inches off the ground and drop on the cut trunk. If the outer green needles fall off, you may want to pass. Observe the tree when you do this because you'll get an idea of how it will settle once decorated.

Finally, and so important: have the lot make a fresh cut on the stump! It will make it easier for the tree to absorb water and stay fresh longer.

Here’s a partial list of independent tree lots in Pinellas County. 

Sunkissed Christmas Trees #2, 2850 US Alternate 19, Dunedin 727-457-3337.

Big Jim’s Wisconsin Christmas Trees, 1895 Gulf to Bay Blvd, Clearwater.

Northstar Wisconsin Christmas Trees, 2905 Gulf to Bay Blvd, Clearwater  920-344-0022 

An Old Time Christmas Tree Lot, 301 37th Ave North, St. Petersburg  727-333-1556

Gallagher’s Pumpkins & Christmas Trees, 7401 4th St N, St Petersburg  850-559-4554

Ken’s Christmas Trees, 5800 58th Street, St. Petersburg  727-768-2409

Boyscout Troop 305, Allendale United Methodist Church, 3803 Haines Road, St. Petersburg

Looking for more holiday cheer than a pile of candy canes and snow under some mistletoe? Check out 727area.com's Christmas in St. Pete page for all the latest and greatest from Pinellas all year-round. And make sure to register, it's free!