Caring for a live Christmas tree is important to get the longest life out of your Christmas tree. Learn how to take care of a live Christmas tree so your Christmas tree will last the entire Christmas season and beyond.
Having a live tree in your house at Christmas can make your home feel just a little more festive and bring joy to your entire family. Many people, however, choose not to buy a real tree because they believe that it will not last throughout the holiday season and they’ll be left with a dead tree by Christmas.
This is simply not the case. A real tree can certainly survive through the holidays if it is properly tended and selected with care. All it takes is a little knowledge.
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How to take care of a live Christmas tree
Choosing a healthy tree
Keeping your tree fresh through the holidays begins with the selection of your tree. There are really two options: a potted tree or a cut tree. If you decide to purchase a potted tree, ensure that it has been watered properly and appears to be in good health. Examine the bark for any damage, and if any bark is missing, find another tree. Give your potential tree a little shake to see how many needles drop. A few is normal, but too many fallen needles indicate dehydration. Also, check for any dead needles or branches.
Choosing a healthy cut tree
Most people will choose a cut tree for the holidays. These same tests can be performed on a cut tree as on a potted tree. Additionally, with a cut tree, you’ll want to examine the bottom of the trunk for excessive damage which may have caused trauma to the tree. Before leaving the lot, ask an attendant to cut two to three inches off the end of the trunk. This will allow the tree to absorb water more efficiently once you get the tree home.
How to take care of a live Christmas tree at home
Get your tree into water as soon as you get it home. If you’re not going to put your tree up immediately upon your return, leave it outside with a source of water. Christmas trees actually like the colder weather, so don’t worry that the cooler December temperatures will damage your new tree. You will want to check the water to make sure it hasn’t frozen.
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Supplies you’ll need to take care of a live Christmas tree are:
If possible, use a plastic tree stand. Metal tree holders can puncture the bark of the tree, which can cause a loss of sap. This will weaken the tree, making it wilt that much sooner. In addition, the larger your tree stand is, the fewer times you’ll have to add water.
At any rate, check the water levels every day. You don’t want your tree to dehydrate, or it will become a fire hazard as it dries out. It will also begin to wilt, and possibly even die. To provide more protection for your Christmas tree, look for those holiday lights that give off the least amount of heat.
What do you put in the water to keep a Christmas tree fresh?
If you want your tree to truly last through the holidays, it will need more than just water. Trees, like people, need nutrients in order to thrive. To make your own tree food, combine four cups of water with two cups of corn syrup.
Boil this mixture for five minutes, allow to cool, and pour it into your tree stand. You can, if you like, add some iron supplements (but no more than three tablets, crushed) and a tablespoon of bleach. Do not add too much bleach or you could damage the tree. Alternatively, you could purchase Christmas tree food, sold at many locations during the holidays.
How often do you have to water a Christmas tree?
To care your Christmas tree you should water your Christmas tree daily. This is especially important to do this the first 7-10 days which the tree will take up the most water.
For a standard size tree with a trunk diameter in around 5 inches you’ll want to maintain at least 5 quarts of water in your Christmas tree stand each day.
Caring for your live Christmas tree is simple and well worth the effort. Treat your tree with care, and it will bring joy to you, your family, and your guests throughout the holiday season.
I hope that the tips that I shared with you today allow you to enjoy your live Christmas tree for the entire holiday season.