Why didn’t I think of this sooner?!
Every year, we get a tree and do the usual awkward dance of trying to get it nice and vertical. I hold it while Sarah steps back and eyeballs it. I adjust and then Sarah takes over holding while I tighten the screws. Inevitably, we then step back and realize more adjustments are needed. By that point, though, the screws are already embedded in the trunk and it’s really hard to make subtle changes.
This year, I thought I’d surprise the family by getting a tree while they were at work/school. After cutting the bottom for fresh water intake, I propped it up close to vertical in the garage and put the base on outside. It wasn’t perfect when I got it in the living room and I knew I wouldn’t be able to adjust it myself, so I just shimmed the sucker. Once the cloth cover was over the base, none were the wiser! (Until I started bragging about my stroke of genius…)