SACRAMENTO (CBS)  ‘Tis the season for Christmas tree shopping! But if you’re getting ready to pick your perfect tree, there are some things you should know before you venture to that lot.

Shawn Lane and his father-in-law Steve Bell have been selling Christmas trees at their business, Christmas Traditions, for 16 years. They know the secret to repeat business.

“If you’re going to buy a real tree, it needs to last,” said Lane.

That means a fresh cut when you buy it and then a short trip to a water-filled stand.

“I would say the most important thing is keeping it in the water. Getting it in the water within two hours of the fresh cut,” said Lane. “Just like flowers that you have to cut the stems off, these Christmas trees sap over on the bottom, and it seals them up and so it won’t draw water.”

Customer Julie Weber of McKinney said an artificial tree is out of the question.

“We’ve always had a real tree. I think someone would revolt if we had an artificial tree,” said Weber.

Even with concerns this season about bugs that can nest in Christmas trees, Lane said he’s never seen it but has always taken precautions.

“When a customer buys it, we’re going to shake, put it on a shaking machine and shake all the loose needles out, along with anything else that might be in that tree,” said Lane.

Lane said you can also shake the tree yourself.

Bug fears don’t seem to be shaking customers. Sales are on track with last year.

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