According to the National Christmas Tree Association, nearly 29 million households will buy a real Christmas tree this year. Make sure your tree makes it through the season in good spirit with these 5 tips. -All American Healthcare New Orleans
1. Choose a healthy, green tree with few brown needles.
The best way to ensure that you have a fresh tree is to cut your own from a local farm; however, if you are purchasing a tree from a garden store or roadside lot, use this tip to make sure the tree is healthy and not damaged from exposure. Run your fingers through a few branches to make sure the needles are flexible, not brittle and not falling off. It may also help to select a tree from a shady area to avoid sun damage.
Check out localharvest.org to find a tree farm near you!
2. Trim the trunk.
Once you have your tree, start taking care of it as soon as possible. If you bought a precut tree, it’s important to trim the trunk when you get home (about an inch to an inch and a half). This will remove any dried sap from the bottom and allow the tree to absorb more water. If you live nearby, you can ask the dealer to make the cut for you.
Be sure to place the tree in a stand that fits the tree’s trunk. The outer layers of wood are the most efficient in taking up water so you should not cut down the trunk to fit in the stand.
3. Place your tree away from heat sources.
Keep the tree away from direct sunlight, heaters, and fire places. All of these elements will dry up the needles and reduce your risk of a fire. Additionally, maintain all electric accessories around the tree and make sure light cords are not worn out. Turn off the tree lights when you leave the house and go to bed at night.
If your tree is kept in a dry area of the house, consider placing a humidifier nearby.
4. Keep the water level above the base of the trunk.
Always put the tree in water as soon as possible. Keeping the trunk from drying out will help keep the needles fresh. Check the water level daily to make sure the tree has enough water. If the trunk stays too dry for too long, residue will build up on the bottom and keep the tree from absorbing an adequate amount of water.
5. Take your tree down before it dries out.
To avoid pine needles from covering your floors, take the tree down before it totally dries out. A fresh cut tree should last about 5 weeks if cared for properly. When it is time to take the tree down, don’t burn it or toss it out. Recycle it! Most cities now have programs that collect Christmas trees and turn them into mulch.