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Tips from Whites Tree Farm: Keep Your Christmas Tree Fresh

11/22/2016 03:58PM ● By Melanie Heisinger

Vermont is home to many Christmas tree farms that welcome families to cut their own tree. “We have been growing Christmas trees long enough to have seen several generations grow up enjoying an annual outing to our farms with the family,” says Robert White of Whites Tree Farm in Essex Junction. “For many it’s a tradition that the whole family can enjoy together.”

At Whites Tree Farm, you’ll enjoy easy access to lots of beautiful trees, plus free hot chocolate to help warm the winter chill. After cutting your tree, visit the gift shop featuring locally made gifts and handmade wreaths.

Whether your tree comes from Whites or another of Vermont’s tree farmers, you’ll want to keep it looking great for as long as possible. Robert offers the following tips for taking care of your freshly cut tree.

  • If your tree was precut for you, ask the person where you purchased it to recut it, which will help it absorb water.
  • If you cut your own tree and are able to keep it cool and out of the sun and wind, it should stay fresh for weeks before putting it in your home. For years we have cut our tree before Thanksgiving and left it in our barn until closer to Christmas, and we always have a fresh tree in the house for four to six weeks.
  • Once the tree is inside, water with no preservatives is best for keeping the tree fresh.
  • The cooler you keep your tree, the longer it will stay fresh in your home. Keep it away from direct heat and heating vents, and keep the room a little cooler than normal.
  • Once the tree starts taking up water, don’t let it dry out; if it does, it may pull in air, which could affect how long the tree stays fresh. We like tree stands that hold several gallons of water—old metal stands rarely hold enough water for the tree.
  • Our best advice for getting your tree in a stand is to use a pin stand. A centered, tapered hole is drilled into the tree at the farm, and it takes just a few seconds to put up and take down in your home. Some refer to this stand as the marriage saver.
  • If you use a traditional stand, it’s easiest to put it on before going inside the house. If the tree is wrapped, lay it down, put on the stand, stand the tree up to verify straightness, and adjust as needed. Then take it inside and cut off the wrap.
  • If you like to leave your tree up for an extended period like we do, we find the tree will tell you when it’s time to go. One day you’ll walk into your home and smell a strong, sweet, pungent odor—that’s the sign it’s time to take the tree outside for the birds to enjoy over the winter.
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