I don't think we'll ever buy a tree from a lot again. We did it sort of out of desperation. Usually we go to a farm and get a "fresh" tree but this year we just waited too long. We went to a lot near our house and bought a cute little tree for $20.
This tree has been shedding needles like crazy since we bought it. Jason made a fresh cut when we brought it home but it still isn't really drinking the water I give it. The bottom branches are bare now. Every time Leta jumps I can hear the needles falling. The trees we get from the farm never lose their needles. Last year we had our tree for over a month and it was still doing well when we took it down. Maybe that's the difference between a $20 tree and a $50 tree.