A fresh Christmas tree looks and smells fantastic. Whether it’s at home or work, you’ll want it to stay looking beautiful throughout the festive season while avoiding the dreaded pine needle clear up. Here’s our top tips on how to keep your Christmas tree fresh throughout the holidays:
Keep It Local
Choosing your Christmas tree can be fun and many families make a day of it. If you can, buy from a local grower who’ll harvest the tree there and then, or allow you to cut the tree down yourself. This way, you can avoid a tree that may have been cut up to two weeks earlier and already be drying out.
Purchasing from a local grower will also help you to spread some Christmas cheer by supporting the local economy.
Trim Your Tree
Before you even think about decorating (or trimming) your tree, you must trim it. Confused? No need to be.
If your tree has been cut for more than 3 hours, simply cut straight across, half an inch from the bottom of the trunk, to remove any sap that has started to seal the base. This will help the tree to absorb water more easily and keep needles in place longer.
Water is the secret to a long-lasting, healthy looking, fresh Christmas Tree. As soon as you can, immerse the base of your Christmas tree in water. A bucket will do until you get chance to decorate it.
Most Christmas tree stands contain a water reservoir that will keep the tree hydrated and there’s no need to drill a hole in the base of the trunk to aid absorption.
Get the Drinks In
We all need to keep hydrated over the Christmas period – and your tree is no exception. To prevent branches from drooping and needles from dropping, the base of the cut Christmas tree should never dry out. Check the water level each day and add water regularly.
Horticultural experts say that neither the temperature of the water nor any special additives will help keep the tree any fresher – a regular supply of water is all that’s needed.
At Christmas time, there’s nothing like cosying up in a welcoming armchair with heating on full blast; or roasting your toes in front of an inviting open fire. We hate to be party poopers, but this will just dry out your Christmas tree.
Even strong sunlight through a window can have a drying effect that’ll cause needles to drop prematurely. And open flames are a big no-no if placed near to a dry fuel source, such as your Christmas tree, especially if you’ve decorated it with potentially flammable goodies and baubles.
Being kept out of the light isn’t usually a good thing for any plant but in this case, it’s for the best. Turning off Christmas tree lights at night or when leaving the house or office for any period of time not only saves energy but also helps reduce drying out and/or overheating.
Check that your Christmas lights are in good working order before using them on your tree as bald wires and broken bulbs can be a fire hazard. More economical LED bulbs also reduce the risk of fire as they are cooler.
Don’t forget that while you can’t re-use a fresh Christmas tree, most councils now offer a collection service, turning them into mulch or chippings for local parks, making a fresh Christmas tree the gift that keeps on giving.