How do I get the most out of my Christmas tree?

The holidays should be a joyful time and having a great looking and fragrant Christmas tree is often a major part of the ambiance of Christmas. There are a few practices that can keep your tree well hydrated and fresh throughout the season. Fresh cut trees can easily last from Thanksgiving through Christmas in most homes without severe loss of needles or becoming too dehydrated. But without the right treatment, the same tree could look pretty sad in just a week or two.

In order to get the tree to take in plenty of water and stay fresh, the bottom of the trunk must still have pores that are open and can absorb water. The best practice is to give the trunk a fresh cut just before putting it into the stand and then adding water immediately. You have a little over an hour before the trunk starts to dry and the end starts to heal over. Also, if the stand runs low on water and the end becomes exposed the same thing can happen. Often, in this case, the trunk will stand out of water for many hours before it is noticed. This most assuredly will result in premature dehydration and a shorter fresh life.

The other area of most concern is the location in the house. If the tree is placed near a heating duct in the floor or in the flow of the ceiling heating vent the needles will dry out much faster than if it is in a cool still area of the house. Putting the tree right next to a big window is sometimes helpful in keeping it cool and fresh.

If you are considering having a living Christmas tree in your home, the best thing is to only leave it inside for a week or two, at the most. And when returning a live tree to the outdoors make sure it isn’t going directly into freezing or colder temperatures. Plants can make that transition, but making it over two or three days will help them adapt to the change. So, take the simple steps above and have a great holiday season!

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