Having a live Christmas tree in the home is merry, age-old tradition enjoyed by millions of families throughout the years.
What’s not so merry is when your live Christmas tree dries out before the big day. Dried Christmas trees are a fire hazard so take these steps to ensure that your Christmas tree stays fresh and green for Christmastime.
Choose A Tree With Fresh, Green Needles
While a live tree has environmental advantages over a plastic tree, you can go the extra mile and buy a living evergreen tree with a root ball attached that you can plant in your yard and enjoy for many years.
Some folks will make this their annual tradition and landscape their yard with holiday memories! Tips for that practice become more like a tutorial for planting a tree. More info on that in future editions!
When choosing a live Christmas tree, choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when you touch them. One way to ensure getting the freshest tree is to find a local Christmas Tree Farm and harvest your own.
If stopping by the local tree lot is more your style, be sure gently tap the cut end of the tree on the ground to gauge the amount of needle drop. If a lot of needles fall from the tree, choose another tree.
Cut off 2 inches from the bottom of your tree’s trunk just before you put it in the stand with water. This will help the tree better absorb the water.
Keep Your Tree In A Cool Place
When you set up your tree, keep it in a cool place away from heat. Placing your tree near heat sources like heat vents and fireplaces will cause the tree to dry out much faster than normal. You should also only use lights that are specifically designed for Christmas trees and do not get hot to the touch.
When Christmas trees become dried out they burn fast and hot—a reason why you should never burn your Christmas tree in your fireplace at the end of the season!
Water Your Christmas Tree Daily
Remember to water your live Christmas tree daily, replacing the older water with new. Some homeowners swear by Christmas tree food that can be bought at the store, while others say simply mixing in a little bit of corn syrup or sugar will do the trick of keeping their tree alive longer.
In reality, simply using water will be enough to keep your Christmas tree alive through the holiday season. So skip DIY methods like adding vodka to the water—it will only harm the tree.
Use The Right Tree Stand
Use a tree stand with a large water reservoir that will keep the bottom of the tree moist. Don’t use a stand that pierces the trunk of the tree with screws. Holes in the trunk do not improve water uptake and will stress the tree.
Why Choose A Live Christmas Tree?
Choosing a live Christmas tree as opposed to a plastic one is an environmentally-friendly and responsible choice. Plastic trees are much harder to recycle, as they are made with different materials like PVC, which many plants cannot recycle. If you are done with your plastic tree, try to donate it to a secondhand store. Live trees can be recycled into mulch or used to help maintain and improve wildlife habitats.
Call your local tree care company like Hansen’s Tree Service for green waste recycling. We will be more than happy to take your trees for a small fee.