Care For Your Cut Christmas Trees

Nothing says Christmas like a beautiful freshly cut Christmas tree, filling the whole house with the sharp fragrance of spruce or fir. With the exception of cut-your-own Christmas trees, all Christmas trees are cut in mid-November. For this reason, it's best to purchase your tree as soon as you see them appear at the garden center, usually right before Thanksgiving. You'll have the best selection and get the freshest tree available. Your cut Christmas tree will easily last from Thanksgiving through Christmas if you follow a few short tips.

  1. Immediately upon arriving home with your fresh cut Christmas tree, cut 1" from the base of the tree and submerge it in a bucket of water. Keep the tree in a cool, shaded place such as the basement or garage. A diagonal cut exposes a larger absorptive surface than a straight cut. A newly cut tree will take up a lot of water. You may need to check the water level in the bucket twice a day. Do not allow the surface of the water to drop below the cut surface of the trunk. If this happens, sap will clog the cut surface and the tree will be unable to take up any more water. If this happens, you will need to make a new cut to allow the tree to absorb water again. You can leave the tree in the bucket for several days, allowing it to take up as much water as it can hold.
  2. When you are ready to decorate the tree, cut another inch off the bottom, squaring off the diagonal cut, and place the tree into your tree stand. Fill the stand with water immediately. Check the water level in the stand daily. If the stand runs out of water, sap will clog the cut surface of the trunk and the tree will be unable to take up any more water.
  3. Place the tree as far as possible from heat ducts, radiators, fireplaces and any other sources of heat.
  4. After the holidays, please dispose of your tree properly. Never attempt to cut up and burn the tree indoors in your fireplace. The dry foliage is extremely flammable and could quickly flame up and burn out of control. Instead, cut off tree branches and use as protective covering for tender perennials in the garden or add them to your compost pile.

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