If you have a real Christmas tree to decorate your house with this holiday season, you would naturally want to keep it looking as healthy as possible until Christmas day at least, and ideally, even beyond New Years. Doing this requires just the simplest changes in the care, positioning, and choice of your tree. Here are 7 of the most important things to look out for.
Before you buy it
1. See that the tree is bought fresh
When buying your tree, make sure you pick one that has a healthy green color and a few brown needles. If you're buying it from a roadside lot, the trees will most likely be coming from out of state, with the exposure to dry winds. So make sure your tree is fresh, by lifting it from the ground and dropping it onto its trunk - if only few needles fall off, that's a good sign.
2. Opt for trees with a base cut
When you're picking a tree at a farm, look out for one that has a straight cut across its base. This would have been done intentionally by the farmers in order to enhance water absorption. This way, your tree will be able to stay fresh for longer. If you don't find this cut, you may try making it yourself.
After you buy it
3. Trim your trunk again before setting it
Newly-bought trees might have developed dried-over resin at the bottom of the trunk - and this may block the absorption of water. Open up the tree's vascular system again by cutting off one inch from the base of the tree as soon as you get home.
4. Supply your tree with enough water
Make sure you supply your tree with water as soon as you can after buying it, or at least, within 24 hours. Fill the stand or a bucket with water and fit the tree into it, making sure it never ends up without water. You may find the need to top up this container with water every day. It is estimated that a typical tree absorbs a quart of water for each inch of its diameter. If in any case, you tree show signs of dryness, try drilling in some holes at the bottom to improve the absorption.
5. Don't be gullible to everything you read
If you've frequently heard several tips that will help prolonging your tree's life, make sure what you believe makes sense after all. One of the myths you might have come across is to add sugar, Sprite, or aspirin to your tree's water supply - but in reality, there are all unnecessary. Plain water is all that your tree needs.
6. Keep the tree away from heat
Heat will make your tree dry up faster, so make sure it is located in a safe place in your home. If you have a fireplace, a wood stove or windows that get a lot of sunlight, make sure your tree is placed as far away from them as possible. Besides, if your home's air is very dry, try using a humidifier to improve it.
After the celebrations
7. Recycle your tree
By this point, it's irrelevant whether your tree has dried up or not, but in either case, don't simply discard it on the curb, where it takes up landfill space. Recycle your tree - look out for any local programs through which you can get your used tree collected and recycled.