Having a real Christmas tree is the best way to get into the Holiday atmosphere. And the better care you provide, the longer it will continue to look jolly. So, what actions do you need to take if you want your Christmas tree to last longer?
Transporting the Christmas tree
After having selected and bought the perfect real Christmas tree, it’s time to transport it. You might think transportation is no biggie, but it is. If your real tree isn’t properly prepared it might sustain damages which will shorten its lifespan. Here’s how to transport a real Christmas tree:
- Wrap the tree – tarp or a blanket will do just fine. The reason for wrapping your Christmas tree is simple: it’s to protect it against the wind. The wind can not only dry out the tree but can also break some of the needles if you’re driving at a higher speed. The cover will shield the gentle foliage from any damage if you’re transporting the Christmas tree on top of your car. It will also spare the paint from scratches.
- Point the base of the tree forward – if you decide to tie the real Christmas tree to the roof of your car, point the base forward. That way the wind will go around the branches and not against the grain. Also, remember to put the tree in the centre of the roof to minimize the gravity effect. If you have a large enough car, then just place the tree inside. The cover will ensure you will have no needles in the back seat.
- Tie – you can use a rope or bungee cord to tie the tree to the car roof. Either way, be sure the tree is properly tightened, so it would fall off due to the wind on when you hit the breaks.
Unpack the tree as soon as you get home. By doing that you prevent fungus and mold from growing in the damp branches.
How to Store the Tree Before Bring it in The House
Real Christmas trees need some time to adjust to temperature changes. If you have bought the tree, but still have time before bringing it in the house, here is what to do.
- Unwrap the tree and give it a good shakedown. This will help remove any hibernating pests and weak needles.
- Cut about 2 centimetres (1 inch) from the trunk and place it in a bucket of water. This will keep the trunk from sealing over. You might need to do this again before you install the tree in the stand. You don’t need to add anything to the water.
- Keep the tree in a cold room away from sunlight such as a garage or basement. Heat and drought are its biggest enemies, so keep it away from them, for as long as possible. A cut Christmas tree can last to up a month and maybe a little longer if you provide it with the necessary conditions.
How to Set Up Your Real Christmas Tree in a Stand
Here is what to do when the time comes to put your Christmas tree in a stand and move it in the house.
- Check the trunk base. If it has sealed make another cut of about the same thickness as before. Make this cut perpendicular to the stem axis. The surface you get after cutting should be flat and not a v-shape or at an angle. This will make securing the tree into the stand much easier and make for better and more even water absorption.
- Find a stand which fits your tree trunk. Trying to make the trunk fit into the stand you already have by whittling its sides is a huge mistake. It is the outer layers of wood that best absorb water, so damaging or removing them will result in your tree dying of thirst. Instead, find a stand which fits the trunk of your tree. The right size stand will also have the right size water container. Even if you manage to fit your large tree into a small stand, be weary, as the water in the tank will not be enough for the particular tree size.
How to Look after Your Real Christmas Tree
Taking care of your Christmas tree is not a hard task, but it does require some persistence with watering. But first…
- Find a Place for the Christmas Tree – There is one general rule to remember- Keep the tree away from heat sources. Obviously, this will be easier said than done since our living rooms are warm. The point is not to place your tree near the fireplace, air conditioner or another source of heat. The warmer it is in your home, the more water the tree will require. Even with frequent watering, the foliage will be in danger because of the heat. Christmas lights are also a source of heat. That’s why we recommend you use led miniature Christmas lights. This will also help your tree retain its freshness for a longer period of time and represent no fire hazard.
- Water at all times. Freshly cut Christmas trees are very thirsty and can consume up to 4 litres (1 gallon) of water in the first 24 hours. The water temperature should be cool and not hot. Check the stand twice a day to make sure it’s always full. Some people drill holes in the base of the trunk in hopes it will improve water intake, that method doesn’t really work. Another method which you shouldn’t do is adding chemicals to the water. You might have heard of products which slow down water evaporation. There really is no need for them as the water in the stand doesn’t evaporate that quickly. Additives in the water such as molasses or floral preservatives are also of no use.
Collect Any Fallen Pine Needles
Regardless of how well you treat your real Christmas tree, some needless will always fall off. Don’t clean them with a vacuum cleaner, because it might damage the machine.
Instead, use a dustpan and brush. Clean any fallen needles daily to protect any infants and pets who might try and eat them.
So there you have it, your very own guide to keeping your real Christmas tree in a tip-top shape. Taking the easy steps above will set you up with a lovely looking Christmas tree for the holiday to come.