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Christmas Tree Care

Updated on December 2, 2012

Take Good Care of Your Cut Christmas Tree

The care you give your cut Christmas tree determines whether it will be a beautiful, fragrant holiday decoration or a spiky fire hazard. Of course, real Christmas trees need water, but there is more to keeping your tree going through the holiday season. Here's how to keep your cut tree green and healthy all season long.

Caring for your Christmas Tree

The care you give your tree when you first bring it home is critical for keeping it green and healthy. If you can't take care of your tree right away, you can place it in a cold location until you are ready for it. Once the tree is warm, it's important to prep it, get it into a secure tree stand, and give it water.

It's helpful to make a flat 1/2"-1" cut from the bottom of the trunk to provide a fresh surface for the tree to uptake water. Don't make an angled or "V" cut because these cuts will make it harder for the tree to drink water, plus they may make the tree unstable in its stand. Make sure the tree has a lot of water when you first bring it into your home. Mixing Christmas tree preservative into the water can help keep your tree fresh for an extended length of time, but the most important step of watering the tree is to make sure it never dries out.

Pay attention to where you place the tree and the decorations that you use. Check your lights to be sure there isn't any exposed wiring. You may want to make certain any lights in contact with the tree aren't hot. Decorating your tree with lit candles is begging for a visit from the fire department, no matter how well-watered your tree is. Don't position the tree near a lit fireplace. Similarly, try to avoid placing it the path of a heater vent.

Mix Your Own Christmas Tree Preservative

The key to keeping your Christmas tree healthy is making sure it always has water available. Adding a preservative to the water can help it uptake water and will prevent the growth of bacteria and mold. While you can purchase Christmas tree preservative, it's simple and inexpensive to make yourself.

Christmas Tree Preservative Ingredients

  • 1 gallon water

  • 2 cups light corn syrup

  • 4 teaspoons chlorine bleach

  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice or vinegar

Mix the ingredients and use the solution to water your tree. In a pinch, you can simply add a Sprite or 7-Up to your tree water. It is acidic, which helps prevent microbial growth and neutralizes alkaline tap water, plus it contains sugar that the tree can absorb as food.

The Most Important Thing

The most important thing to remember is to water the tree! In the end, it probably won't make a big difference whether you use a tree preservative or plant food or not, but if you let the tree get dry it won't drink more water ever again!

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Artificial Christmas Trees

Is keeping a freshly-cut tree too complicated? There's still time to get an artificial Christmas tree.

Do you worry about dry needles or a Christmas tree fire? Share your thoughts!

What Do You Think?

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      beachbum_gabby 9 years ago

      We use artificial Christmas and we use it every year. Happy Holidays!