Taking Care of Your Christmas Tree

Buying your tree a month before Christmas doesn’t mean it’ll be dried out and shedding before it’s time to open presents.

Follow these Christmas trees do’s and don’ts to keep your tree green and fresh all the way to the new year! Do: Make a fresh cut to remove a ¼” to 1” thick disk of wood from the base of the trunk before putting it in the stand. 

Don’t: Cut the trunk at an angle, or into a v-shape. This makes it much more difficult to set the tree in the stand and also reduces the amount of water available to the tree.

Do: Use a stand that fits your tree.

Don’t: Whittle the sides of the trunk down to fit the stand. The outer layers of wood are the most efficient in taking water and should not be removed.

Do: Place the tree in water as soon as possible. If needed, trees can be temporarily stored for several days in a cool location. Place the freshly cut trunk in a bucket that is kept full of water until you place it in your stand. 

Below are more tips for keeping your tree fresh in your house.

When choosing a stand, use one with adequate water holding capacity for the tree. As a general rule, stands should provide one quart of water per inch of stem diameter.

Maintain a constant water level in the stand. This may require filling the stand several times the first few days.

Check the stand daily to make sure that the level of water does not go below the base of the tree. Once the tree goes dry, it will form a seal over the cut base and it is very difficult to get it to draw water again.

Drilling a hole in the base of the trunk does not improve water uptake.

Keep trees away from sources of heat (fireplaces, heaters, heat vents, direct sunlight).

Lowering the room temperature will slow the drying process, resulting in less water consumption each day.

Use lights that produce low heat, such as LED lights. Be sure to inspect light sets prior to placing them on the tree, if worn replace with a new set. Do not overload electrical circuits. Always turn off the lights when leaving the house or going to bed.

Monitor the tree for freshness, if the tree is dry remove it from the house.

Remember, once a tree is cut, it is in the process of dying. The usual life for a live cut Christmas tree indoors is approximately two to three weeks.

If you want a real Christmas tree indoors for a longer length of time, consider a flocked Christmas tree which is sprayed with a fire retardant and will last longer.

When removing the Christmas tree from the home, find a recycling program near your area. Never burn any part of a Christmas tree in a wood stove or fireplace.

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