Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tips to Keep Your Live Christmas Tree Fresh & Safe

According to the National Christmas Tree Association, 25 to 30 million live Christmas Trees are bought and decorated in homes across America every year. Regardless of the type, here are some good tips to keep your live tree greener and your home safer over the holiday season. Most trees, regardless of the type, will last three weeks, or longer, if you follow these simple tips.

1. Select a fresh tree, if possible. Tree farms are the best, as you select and cut them on the same day. Often, time and opportunity means selecting a good tree at a garden store, grocery or other source. The needles should be green and hard to pull away from the limbs. Bounce the tree on the ground and insure lots of needles don't fall off the tree. Check the bottom of the tree trunk, it should be sticky with sap, if it's been cut recently.

2. Prior to placing in the stand cut 1 to 1 1/2 inch off the base. The sap of pre-cut trees block water absorption making this an important step before setting up your tree.

3. Trim the lower branches off the trunk and depending on the size of the tree choose an appropriate stand that will hold enough water. Trimming the lower branches adds to maximum water absorption and the tree skirt hides the trunk and stand.

4.Water is the main key to keep the tree fresh. Keep water above the bottom of the trunk. Other ideas include adding aspirin, corn syrup or sugar dissolved in the water (Neither of these additives are proven, but I know personally, sugar water prolongs the life of cut flowers and packets are often provided when you buy cut flowers). Commercial additives are also available at most garden centers.

I have a few safety tips for you to remember:

    1. Water, water, water and water some more! (Keep the needles pliable and moist)
    2. Keep your tree away from heat sources, like heat vents, fireplaces, TVs, direct sunlight,
        that dry out the needles.
    3. Don't overload electrical outlets.
    4. Don't block exits.
    5. Check lights prior to decorating for frayed wire or lights.
    6. Use miniature lights to decorate.
    7. Turn the temperature down (if possible) in the room where your tree is located.
    8. Use a humidifier in the room where the tree is located.

Until next time.......

Happy Gardening 2012!

Posted by Wilma Smith

1 comment:

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