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Fresh Christmas Tree Care: Valuable Tips On Keeping Your Tree Fresh This Holiday Season

Most families keep their Christmas tree in their homes for four to six weeks, usually from just after Thanksgiving until New Year’s Day or shortly thereafter. How do you keep your fresh tree looking good and keep it from drying out while it’s indoors? Follow the valuable tips below from the National Christmas Tree Association.

  1. When you first buy your cut tree, did you know that half its weight is water? Therefore, it makes sense to display your tree by standing it in water. A traditional reservoir-type stand can be effective.

  2. Make a fresh cut to 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 bruise the cut surface or get it dirty. Don’t angle the cut or make a “V” cut.

  3. Once home, place the tree in water as soon as possible. If needed, 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Make sure your stand has the capacity to hold adequate water for your tree. A general rule is that the stand should provide one quart of water per inch of trunk diameter. Devices are available that help maintain a constant water level in the stand.

  6. Drilling a hole in the base of the trunk does not improve water uptake.

  7. The temperature of the water used to fill the stand is not important and does not affect water uptake.

  8. 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, so keep a close eye on it.

  9. Keep trees away from sources of heat (fireplaces, heaters, heat vents, and direct sunlight).

  10. Lowering the room temperature will slow the drying process and result in less water consumption each day.

  11. Use lights that produce low heat, such as miniature lights, to reduce drying of the tree. Always inspect light sets prior to placing them on the tree. If worn or frayed, replace with a new set.

  12. Always turn off the tree lights when leaving the house or when going to bed.

  13. After Christmas, or if the tree is very dry, remove it from the house.

  14. Find out how to recycle your tree in your area.

For more information, go to

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