First, know that Christmas trees shed some inside needles every fall, and sometimes these needles get stuck in the branches. This is normal for an evergreen. It is not the sign of an 'old' tree. When cutting down a tree, clear branches and the area so you can see what you are doing (pictured). Then, cut straight across the trunk, parallel to the ground.
Once you have the tree home, make a fresh cut, straight across the tree trunk, about an inch above the original cut. This re-opens the tree stem 'arteries' so it can take up water. Then, plunge the trunk end immediately into fresh water, and keep it in water. Water daily.
Christmas trees can absorb up to a gallon of water per day. A lot. Don't let the water level drop below the end of the trunk, or a seal will form, and you will have to cut off the end, again, to allow it to drink and stay fresh. A well-watered tree is a nicer smelling tree and less of a fire hazard.
Blue Spruce have a gorgeous gray-blue appearance. They are also known for their sharply pointed needles and strong branches for heavy ornaments. The needles can be a little too picky for little children, but they may keep the cat away. These trees are perfect if you like to hide gifts 'in' the tree.
The Fraser [Fray-shur] Fir has good needle retention, is dark blue-green in color, and a very nice scent. This is a very popular Christmas tree choice. These pyramidal-shaped trees are similar to a Balsam. * If you want a particular tree type, just ask.
Canaan (pronounced Kah-non) is a newer Christmas tree favorite. First identified in the Canaan Valley in West Virginia, this tree is very similar to the Balsam and Fraser.
White Pine is a traditional, long-needled trees favored by some folks. A soft appearance and the familiar 'pine woods' scent are their best attributes.
Pyramidal and stately shaped evergreen. Terrific scent and softer needles. Loved by many cats, too.