12 Christmas tree care tips
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Get your tree from a farm
Taking good care of your Christmas tree starts when you go to the tree farm to pick it out. A freshly cut tree will last much longer than one that’s been cut weeks beforehand.Date Published: October 10, 2014Date Updated: December 3, 2014
Selecting the tree
When selecting your tree make sure to stay away from ones with dead or browning needles. These trees are probably past their prime. You want the needles to be flexible and stay on the tree when you run your hand through them.Date Published: October 10, 2014Date Updated: December 3, 2014
Cutting the tree
After cutting the tree from the ground, make a fresh cut to remove about a ½-inch thick section of the trunk. Make sure to do this before you put it in the stand. You’ll want to make sure the cut is perpendicular to the stem axis. Do not cut the trunk at an angle because this will make it difficult for the tree to be held in a tree stand. This could also reduce the amount of water the tree gets.Date Published: October 10, 2014Date Updated: December 3, 2014
The tree stand
Once a tree is cut more than half of its weight is water. It’s extremely important to keep your tree watered throughout the holiday season. To do this you have to get the right tree stand. The National Christmas Tree Association suggests getting a traditional reservoir type of stand. This type of stand will ensure that your tree gets plenty of water.
The rule is that a stand should provide 1 quart of water per inch of stem diameter. You’ll also want to make sure you're not whittling the sides of the tree trunk down to fit in the stand. The outer layers of a tree’s trunk are the most efficient at taking in water so they should not be removed.Date Published: October 10, 2014Date Updated: December 3, 2014
Bringing the tree home
Where you put your Christmas tree once you arrive home is equally important. You’ll want to make sure you don’t display it next to any heat sources like a fireplace or heat vents. Heat may cause the tree to dry out completely before you even get to enjoy it. A dry tree could also be a fire hazard.Date Published: October 10, 2014Date Updated: December 3, 2014
Cover the Floor
Once you’ve found a place to display your tree make sure you cover the floor where the tree will be placed. This isn’t just for decorative purposes, either. This will help collect fallen needles and protect your floor from any water that spills out of the stand.Date Published: October 10, 2014Date Updated: December 3, 2014
Setting the tree up
You should place your Christmas tree in the stand within eight hours of cutting the tree. This will help ensure the tree will continue to take up water once it is securely in the stand. If for some reason you are not able to set the tree in the stand within eight hours you can temporarily keep the tree in a cool place in a bucket of water for a few days. If you do this, make sure to continuously change the water in the bucket.Date Published: October 10, 2014Date Updated: December 3, 2014
Keep the tree straight
It’s important to make sure the tree is completely straight when you set it up in the stand. Have two people work on setting up the tree. One person can hold the tree straight while the other can make adjustments with the stand to make sure everything is straight and the tree trunk has access to the water.
Check to make sure the tree is straight and firmly in place before you start decorating. It will be hard to fix things once you start putting lights and ornaments on.Date Published: October 10, 2014Date Updated: December 3, 2014
The most important thing you can do for your Christmas tree is to water it. Although there are many beliefs that certain things mixed with water help a tree stay healthy for longer, the National Christmas Tree Association says plain tap water will do just fine.
You’ll want to make sure you’re checking the tree stand daily to see if it needs more water. Never let the water level go below the base of the tree. If you are keeping your tree watered it will shed fewer needles and will not dry out as fast. This helps prevent a fire hazard, too.Date Published: October 10, 2014Date Updated: December 3, 2014
Decorating the tree can be the best part and there are a few things you can do to make sure everything is safe. If you make sure to keep things safe your tree has less of a chance becoming a fire hazard. If you’re stringing lights on the tree make sure every light is working and check the chord for any frays or places where a pet might have tried chewing on it. Do not put any decorations up that may be a fire hazard.Date Published: October 10, 2014Date Updated: December 3, 2014
Check for sap
If you are watering your tree regularly it will most likely start to produce sap. Keep an eye on your tree’s trunk for any sap leaks. The sap can sometimes leak onto the floor, furniture, or the presents under the tree. The sooner you catch a sap leak the easier it is to remove it.Date Published: October 10, 2014Date Updated: December 3, 2014
Once the holidays come to an end your tree will be fairly dry even if you have been watering it throughout the season. When it comes time to remove the tree from your home it’s a good idea to recycle it.
Many communities have a tree collection program after Christmas that you can give your tree to. You might also want to think about putting it in your garden and then using the woodchips from the tree in the spring for mulch. You can also bring the tree to a local recycling and mulching program.Date Published: October 10, 2014Date Updated: December 3, 2014
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