The most important way to care for your tree is to keep it fresh, to do that, it needs water.
We can’t stress enough to keep water in your stand. Check the tree every day; this is especially important if you have a pet that might be sipping from the stand!
Returning Home with your Tree
Once home, place the tree in water as soon as possible. The first water you put in the stand should be the hottest tap water you have, not boiling but hot. This will help dissolve any sap and dirt that might have accumulated while bringing your fresh cut tree home. Most species can go 6 to 8 hours after cutting the trunk and still take up water. Don’t bruise the cut surface or get it dirty.
If you are not putting your tree up right away, trees can be temporarily stored for several days in a cool location. Place the freshly cut trunk in a bucket that is kept full of water, out of the sun and wind, and don’t let the water freeze.
Leave the netting on your tree until you get it in your stand and set up, it makes it easier to handle then just cut it off!
Tree Care Tips
To display the trees indoors, use a stand with an adequate water holding capacity for the tree. Use a stand that holds as much water as possible, a gallon or more is great. This is the most effective way of maintaining their freshness and minimizing needle loss problems.
Always use a stand that fits your tree. Avoid whittling the sides of the trunk down to fit a stand. The outer layers of wood are the most efficient in taking up water and should not be removed.
DO NOT let your tree run out of water. In the first week, a tree in your home could consume as much as a gallon of water per day. A good rule of thumb is that for every 1″ of diameter, a tree could use a quart of water per day. For example, a 4″ diameter tree could use 1 gallon of water per day for the first several days. However, do not be alarmed if your tree does not, fresh cut trees often do not take a lot of water because they are just that, FRESSH!
Keep trees away from major sources of heat (fireplaces, heaters, heat vents, direct sunlight). Lowering the room temperature will slow the drying process, resulting in less water consumption each day.
Use of lights that produce low heat, such as miniature lights, will reduce drying of the tree. Always inspect light sets prior to placing them on the tree. If worn, replace with a new set and do not overload the electrical circuit.
Do not use real candles on trees. Also, we do not recommend candles to be used on brush or greenery.
We can’t stress enough the safest tree is a fresh tree and the very best way to keep your tree fresh is to provide plenty of water to the fresh cut tree daily. In other words, WATER, WATER, AND WATER MORE!
If you are not putting your tree in water for 6-8 hours after it is cut you will need to make a fresh cut. Remove about a 1/2-inch thick disk of wood from the base of the trunk before putting the tree in the stand. Don’t cut the trunk at an angle, or into a v-shape, which makes it far more difficult to hold the tree in the stand and also reduces the amount of water available to the tree.
The temperature of the water used to fill the stand is not important and does not affect water uptake.
Check the stand daily to make sure that the level of water does not go below the base of the tree. With many stands, there can still be water in the stand even though the base of the tree is no longer submerged in water.
Drilling a hole in the base of the trunk does NOT improve water uptake.
Always turn off the tree lights when leaving the house or when going to bed.
Never burn any part of a Christmas tree in a wood stove or fireplace, it can contribute to creosote buildup.
Find a tree recycling program near you.
Monitor the tree for freshness. After Christmas or if the tree is dry, remove it from the house.
Tree Care Myths
Save the vodka for the New Year’s Eve party, not your Christmas tree.
Should you add 7-Up, aspirin, bleach, vodka or sugar to the water?
No! The tree experts suggest mixing the 7-Up with the vodka, use the sugar to get rid of the hiccups after laughing with friends and family and take a few aspirins before bed — but don’t add it to the tree stand. Clean water works best, and some additives can even cause your tree to shed needles and dry out more quickly.
It’s bad for the environment to cut down a tree and use it for Christmas
It is much better environmentally to use a natural agricultural crop and recycle it after the holidays. Real Christmas Trees are a renewable, recyclable, natural product grown on farms throughout North America. Unfortunately, many people have the misconception that Christmas Trees are cut down from the forest. Real Christmas Trees are grown as crops, just like corn or wheat, and raised on a farm. Once they are harvested, new seedlings are planted to replace harvested trees. These would NOT have been planted if trees hadn’t been harvested the previous year. Fake Christmas Trees, however, are a non-renewable, non-biodegradable, plastic and metal product most often made in overseas factories.