Everyone loves the smell of a fresh cut Christmas tree. It brings the outside indoors for the Christmas season. The trick is to keep that forestry aroma throughout the holidays.
It seems that everyone has a secret formula for keeping a tree fresh. Some people suggest dropping an aspirin into the water. Others have suggested pouring in some 7-up. Of course, you can buy many commercial additives too. Some people think drilling a hole in the tree base helps. Others think the water temperature plays a role. Many years ago, there was even a goofy idea of using bleach to keep a tree fresh. However, none of these suggestions will prevent a tree from drying out.
A fresh Christmas tree is nothing more than some common sense, a few simple steps and water.
First, pick out a place away from a heat source. A Christmas tree may look nice next to the fireplace, but it will dry the tree out and create a fire hazard. You should also avoid heaters, heat vents and other hot spots.
When you get your freshly cut tree home, saw one-half of an inch off the base. Make sure the cut is even and not at an angle. An angled cut can inhibit water intake and leave a space for the tree to dry. It is important not to bruise the cut area or get it dirty. This can also inhibit water intake. Immediately place the tree in a stand with water. If you aren’t ready to put your tree up, the tree can be stored in a bucket of water.
Sometimes, the tree stem is too big for the stand. A common mistake is to shave the sides of the stem so that it fits into the stand. The outer layers of the stem are the most efficient for up taking water. By shaving these stem layers, the tree will struggle to maintain its freshness.
Check the water stand every day. The tree will slurp up the water at a surprising rate. This is the clearest indicator that your tree is maintaining its freshness. When the tree stops, or even slows, its water uptake, then its time to start watching for needle dropping. The tree will slowly lose that wonderful scent and green look.
If the tree stand becomes dry, the stem will seal over and water uptake may cease completely. This is why it is important to constantly check the water and make sure it is always full. It’s best to have a stand that will hold about a quart of water for every inch of tree stem diameter.
If you follow these few simple steps, you will prolong the enjoyment of your Christmas tree. A fresh tree means less needles to clean-up, a reduced fire hazard and the scent of nature in your home as you enjoy Christmas day.