Keep Your Christmas Tree Alive this Season
Years ago we bought an artificial tree. It was the frugal thing to do since real trees can get expensive. Not only that, but it seemed every year our tree was either dead, or almost dead before Christmas arrived. We made the decision one year after vacuuming, once again, the piles of needles from under the tree – next year we would get an artificial tree.
And we did, but it wasn’t the same. Touring the artificial tree section of Walmart, trying to pick out the perfect tree, just didn’t feel like Christmas.
After all, we had traditions. Christmas for our family included walking through rows of living trees trying to find our perfect tree. We loved driving home with our tree tied to the top of the car, singing Christmas carols. Then having hot chocolate as we put up and decorated the tree.
We missed this family tradition over the years as we dragged the tree from the attic and put it together by matching branches to the stem. No, it didn’t feel like Christmas. But most of all, we missed the smell of Christmas that the fresh tree brought.
So this year we are back to a real tree, and we love it. I did a bit of research to find the best tips for keeping our tree alive. These tips are from Christmas-tree.org and I hope they help you to have a living tree that lasts throughout the holidays.
“Use these tips to keep your Real Christmas Tree safe, alive with a fresh pine scent and providing beauty throughout the holiday season:
- Select the freshest-looking Real Tree available. To test for freshness, gently grasp a branch between your thumb and forefinger and pull it toward you. Very few needles should come off in your hand. Shake or bounce the tree on its stump. You should not see an excessive amount of green needles fall to the ground. Some loss of interior brown needles is normal.
- If not setting up right away, store the Christmas tree in water if possible and out of the sun and wind.
- Make a fresh cut off the bottom of the trunk one half inch from the bottom just before putting in the stand. Keep the tree’s stand full of water at all times, checking the water level daily.
- The stand you use should hold at least one quart of water for every inch diameter of the trunk after the tree is in the stand.
- Don’t add anything to the tree’s water. Research has shown that plain tap water is by far the best. Some commercial additives and home concoctions can actually be detrimental to a tree’s moisture retention and increase needle loss.
- Place the Christmas Tree well away from heat registers, space heaters, fire places, wood stoves, televisions, computer monitors and other heat sources. These will speed up evaporation and moisture loss of the tree.”
So what about your family – do you have a real tree, or an artificial tree?