A live Christmas tree can cost a pretty penny, so it makes sense to put a little extra time and effort into caring for it. If you select and care for a live Christmas tree properly, you can maximize the life of your tree and keep it fresh looking all season long.
Here are some tips to help you care for a live Christmas tree this season.
Select the Right Live Christmas Tree
When you head to the Christmas tree lot – or head out into the woods – it’s important to know what to look for when selecting a live Christmas tree. Obviously, you should choose a live Christmas tree that will fit in your home. Take the height and width into consideration. However, you should also carefully inspect a tree before buying it. Healthy live Christmas trees should have bright green needles that are somewhat resilient, meaning that they bend a little before breaking. Your new live Christmas tree should also have a fragrant pine scent. Avoid trees with several noticeable brown needles as well as trees that are dropping needles.
Prep the Tree Before Setting Up
Before you set up a live Christmas tree in a Christmas tree stand, cut off a small amount of the bottom of the trunk. According to the National Christmas Tree Association, roughly a half inch should be enough. This will help the tree absorb more water. If you are unable to cut the tree yourself, ask an employee where you bought the tree if they can do it for you.
Use the Right Live Christmas Tree Stand
Choosing the right stand is just as important as choosing the best live Christmas tree. The tree trunk should fit into the stand well, and you shouldn’t have to cut or whittle the base to make it fit. Also, make sure that your Christmas tree stand hold enough water to keep your tree hydrated.
Keep Your Live Christmas Tree Hydrated
The most important live Christmas tree care tips is to keep it watered! Without enough water, your live Christmas tree will quickly become dry and brittle, which can not only lead to a mess of dropped needles, but can also be a fire hazard. As a general rule of thumb, your live Christmas tree will need about a quart of water per inch of trunk diameter. For instance, if the diameter of your Christmas tree’s trunk is four inches, it will most likely need about four quarts of water each day. Check the base of your Christmas tree stand periodically throughout the day to ensure that it has enough.
Proper Live Christmas Tree Placement and Decorating
Where you put your live Christmas tree will also have an impact on it’s health and overall lifespan. Try to keep it in a cool area, away from heaters, fireplaces, and vents, and out of direct sunlight. Warm air blowing on the branches can cause them to dry out, resulting in falling needles. A dry live Christmas tree is also a fire hazard. Also, pay close attention to the types of decorations you use on a live Christmas tree. Inspect lights to ensure they aren’t damaged, and use newer energy efficient lights that give out very little heat. Be sure to unplug your Christmas tree lights as well before you leave the house or go to bed at night to further minimize the chance of a fire.