Do you know how to keep a live Christmas tree fresh longer? The best part about Christmas is the tree. Whether you enjoy picking out the tree or decorating it, there’s nothing like the feel and smell of a live Christmas tree to put you in the holiday spirit. Anyone who has had a live tree for Christmas understands that maintaining them can be a pain. With that being said there are ways to keep a Christmas tree fresh longer.
HOW TO KEEP A LIVE CHRISTMAS TREE FRESH
We have (hopefully, LOL) all seen the movie, Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Their live Christmas tree got a little too dry and went up in flames in 3 seconds flat in one of the funniest scenes in the movie.
Although that was a great laugh, no one wants that to happen in real life! Dry Christmas trees can be a big fire danger.
It is much easier to follow these easy steps to keep a live Christmas tree fresh longer than to deal with an ugly brown tree that is dropping needles like crazy.
START OFF WITH THE RIGHT TREE
The first step to maintaining a Christmas tree is picking out the right tree. If you choose the right type of live Christmas tree it will be easier to keep it looking fresh all season.
Here are a few tips when choosing a tree:
- If possible opt for a tree from a Christmas tree farm over a garden store or hardware store.
- Test how healthy a tree is by raising it a few inches from the ground and dropping the trunk on the ground. If you find a bunch of green needles falling off the tree, keep shopping. Make sure the needles on the tree are flexible yet firm.
- Find out how long ago the trees were cut. Anything over 3 weeks ago, you may want to shop elsewhere.
- Choose a tree from a shaded area.
- Make sure the trunk is trimmed straight across the base. This helps with water absorption, which can be blocked from the resin that is dried over the trunk.
TIPS FOR WHEN THE TREE IS HOME
It’s best to put your tree up as soon as you get home. However, if that is not a possibility, then you should put the tree in a fresh bucket of water. You want to make sure that you store your tree where it is protected from heat, winds, and freezing temperatures.
Once you are ready to bring the tree indoors, make another cut off the bottom of the trunk. The stand that you use to place the tree in, should be able to hold at least a gallon of water.
Be sure you get a good quality tree stand that is strong enough to hold the tree and big enough to hold plenty of water. No one wants to come home to a tree that has tipped over because the stand gave out.
The location in your home plays a factor in how long your tree stays fresh. Avoid setting your tree up near heat sources, such as:
- Heat registers
- Space heaters
- Wood burning stoves
This will dry your tree out faster. The humidity in the room should be at 40%, use a humidifier if the air in the room is too dry. This will add a little moisture to the air.
DAILY TREE MAINTENANCE
The most annoying thing about live Christmas trees is the pine needles falling off everywhere. This can be prevented by maintaining the tree and keeping it well hydrated. The most important thing to remember is that a Christmas tree is a live plant, therefore it needs water to survive.
You need to make sure to constantly check the water every day. The general rule of thumb is that for every inch in diameter of the trunk, the tree should get a quart of water. Therefore if a trunk is 4-inches in diameter, it will absorb a gallon of water every day.
You may hear that adding additives to the tree water such as sugar or maple syrup, will help keep the tree fresher longer, however, the jury is still out on that. Most experts agree that making sure that your tree has enough water is the best way to care for your tree.
TAKING DOWN THE TREE
Unless you want more of a mess to clean up, take down the tree before seeing signs that it is drying up.
Once you are done with the tree, avoid leaving it out on the curb, it goes straight to the landfill and takes up space when it can be recycled in many ways.
If you have a green thumb, you can use it for a compost pile, recycle it, have a bonfire, or turn it into mulch. Or contact your city about other environmentally friendly ways to get rid of your tree.
By following the tips provided in this guide you can feel confident that you can keep a live Christmas tree fresh for 5 weeks or more. This means that you can put your tree up in late November and should last throughout the Christmas holiday and possibly into the New Year.
Check out our other great Christmas tradition posts!
Be sure to PIN this tips so you can refer to them year after year.