Early December signals the arrival of cut Christmas trees at local garden centers, tree lots and the opening of area tree farms for those folks who like to cut their own tree. Since live Christmas trees can be purchased a month before the actual holiday, Patch thought it might be helpful to share some basic steps to keep trees as fresh as possible through the season.
Whether you buy a tree that has already been cut or buy a tree from a “cut your own” farm, there are several things you can do to keep your tree in good condition.
According to Christmas Tree Farmers of New York, Inc., live trees need lots of water to remain as fresh as possible. Whether you are going to put the tree in your home right away or keep it outside in cool, shaded area for a few days, have a tree stand or bucket filled with lukewarm water ready in which to place your tree.
Then, using a saw cut about 1/4 inch off bottom of trunk prior to placing the tree in stand using a perpendicular cut. Once the cut is made, immediately place the tree in the stand or bucket filled with water.
Check water levels twice per day in the first few days. A tree will absorb the most water after it is recently cut and placed in water.
Make sure tree is displayed away from heat sources. Always check electrical devices like lights and other decorations before placing on the tree.
A good rule for selecting an appropriate size tree stand is to choose one that can hold a quart of water for every inch of trunk diameter and have an opening large enough to accommodate the trunk. A tree with a four inch diameter trunk would need a tree stand that holds at least a gallon of water. Make sure to check the amount of water in the stand daily because a fresh tree will take up a lot of water, especially the first few days it is in your home.
For additional information on keeping a live tree in your house chek out the Christmas Trees Farmers New York website.