Even though artificial trees are increasing in popularity, most here in the PNW agree that real trees are the best addition to your Christmas décor. No matter what type of tree you select – spruce, fir, pine, or cypress – once it’s inside your house, the goal is to keep it fresh and green for as long as possible. Use these tips to keep your tree looking grand throughout the holiday season.
1. Get the tree in water immediately.
Once you get your tree home, put it in water as soon as possible! Do not wait more than 8 hours to give your new houseguest a drink. The water temperature you use does not matter. If the trunk was not freshly cut when you purchased your tree, saw an inch or two off the bottom of the trunk before placing in water.
2. Use the correct stand.
Your tree should fit comfortably in your stand without having to whittle the trunk down. Whittling the trunk down will dry your tree out faster – which is what we want to avoid. Be sure the tree stand you choose has a large enough water reservoir; the National Christmas Tree Association recommends that a tree stand should provide one quart of water per inch of stem diameter. Who knew!
3. Water your tree.
The bigger the tree, the more water you need! Check your tree often to ensure the cut part of the trunk stays below the waterline. We do not recommend adding lemon soda, aspirin, or other concoctions to the water because it may sicken your pets (or kids) if they drink out of the water reservoir. Frankly, those tricks do not extend the life of your tree anyway.
Remember, a tree can take up a gallon of water in its first few hours in the stand!
4. Keep the tree cool.
Position your tree out of direct sunlight and away from heat sources. Additionally, keep the temperature in the room as low as possible.
Other tips, tricks, and helpful advice.
Even with daily watering, cut trees will eventually dry out. When the branches droop so low that ornaments are hitting the floor, and needles drop when you touch the branches – it’s time to remove the décor and take the tree outside.
The saddest end for a retired Christmas tree is for it to be hauled off to a landfill. You can saw off some (or all) of the tree’s branches and cover garden beds with them to protect plants or turn them into mulch. Depending on the size of your tree, you can also chop the trunk and let it dry for firewood next year. Get creative and find fun ways to recycle your tree!
One final thought, we know how magical it is to open the door to a sparkling tree, but please do not leave the trees lights on overnight or when no one is home.