Few things draw the attention of holiday guests quite like an awe-inspiring Christmas tree.
Few things draw the attention of holiday guests quite like an awe-inspiring Christmas tree. So it’s easy to see why so many people get impatient, and put their tree up right after Thanksgiving.
But let’s face it, four weeks is a long time for a cut tree to stand tall. And while the scent of fresh pine is wonderful, the tinkling of dried out little needles scattering across a hardwood floor is not.
Fortunately, there are some things you can do.
Pick the right tree. Choosing the right tree is one of the simplest ways to keep a tree looking good throughout the holiday season. While the best way to make your tree fresh is to cut it yourself, it’s not the only way. Bend a needle in half with your fingers. If it’s fresh fir, it will snap in half. You can also gently grab the inside of a branch and pull your hand toward you and test whether the needles stay on. Lastly, gently tap the cut end of a tree on the ground. If a few needles fall off, it should be fine. If a lot of needles fall off, keep looking.
Cut an inch off the base. All Christmas trees are conifers, which means they have resin canals in their trunks. Once a tree is cut, the resin can dry, block the pores, and make it harder for the tree to take in water. Cutting an inch off the base of a tree can help ensure it gets the water it needs.
Water it every day. Fresh tree lovers know that Christmas trees can be very thirsty, especially within the first week or so of being cut. Fill the stand with water each morning and, if necessary, refill it each night before going to bed. The more water a tree gets and drinks, the more likely it is that the tree will look healthy all the way to Christmas Day.
Keep the tree away from a heat source. For safety's sake, trees should be kept away from heating vents, fireplaces and space heaters. But keeping trees away from such heat sources, and ensuring they are not spending the daytime in direct sunlight, also decreases the chances they will dry out before Christmas Day.