Bringing a live Christmas tree into your home is one of the most enjoyable experiences and new tradition a family can share during the holiday season. A Christmas tradition shared by my family is the annual road trip to a cut-your-own Christmas tree farm. We love the aromatic evergreen scent that freshly cut trees give off. Having a live tree in the house is a fragrant addition to holiday decorations. Keeping our tree up until New Year’s Day is also a family Christmas tradition. Like any other house plant a Christmas tree needs to be watered, fed and nurtured to survive indoors. The question [for most folks] is, “How do we keep our tree supple and fresh throughout the Christmas season?” Here are a few helpful tips to prolong the life and beauty of your tree.
Fresh Cut Trees: When cutting a fresh tree always make your initial base cut as close to the ground as possible. We take a piece of cardboard with a slit to act as a collar around the base of the tree. It will protect you and your saw from pieces of ground debris. Once the tree is cut you may need the assistance of the farm staff to make additional cuts to properly level the tree.
Water Absorption: After they’ve made the leveling cut ask them if they will drill a centering hole in the base of your tree. This vertical hole roughly 3-4 inches hole drilled into the base of the trunk serves two purposes. It will help your tree absorb more water much quicker. The second purpose is many large and cast iron tree stands have a spike in the center helping to set and position your Christmas tree. The pre-drilled hole is used as a point of stabilization before securing the tree in the stand.
Watering your Tree: A typical 6-ft tree can absorb roughly a half gallon of water a day. Keeping your tree watered is very important to the longevity of the tree. We keep a container of water in reach behind our tree as a reminder to keep it hydrated. You can purchase a product called, Christmas Tree Preservative at Lowes, Home Depot or any lawn and gardening center. It contains additives to help trees stay fresh, prevent needle loss and browning.
Easy Hydration Check: The branches are an easy way to see if your tree is retaining enough water. If the branches bend easily and still give off a pine scent your tree is well hydrated. If they begin to crack and shed needles it needs to be watered more frequently, especially if your thermostat above 65-70 degrees.
Following these simple tips will help extend the life of your Christmas tree into the new year! And remember to recycle your tree for spring gardening mulch.
My personal experience with fresh cut trees
Lowes Lawn and Gardening Center – Fresh Cut Trees
Home Depot Gardening Center – Fresh Cut Trees