Caring for your cut Christmas Tree

Published: Friday, November 30, 2012 at 10:23 AM.

The key to maintaining you live Christmas tree throughout the holiday is to give it the proper care from the time it is purchased until the tree is removed from your home.

Maintaining a high moisture level in the tree is the single most important factor in reducing needle loss and keeping the tree fresh.  This is accomplished primarily through the use of water-holding stands and keeping the water level in the stand above the base of the tree.

The following tips will help you keep your cut Christmas tree healthy through-out the holiday season:

-Use a tree stand with an adequate water-holding capacity.  A tree stand should have a water basin that provides 1 quart of water per inch of stem diameter.  For most Christmas trees, the stand should hold at least 1 gallon of water.  A cut tree will absorb a surprising amount of water, particularly during the first week, so replenish the water daily.

-The tree stand should fit your tree.  Some stands have circular rings at the top so the ring must be large enough for the trunk of your tree to go through the hole.  Avoid whittling down the sides of the trunk to fit a stand.  The outer layers of wood are the most efficient in taking up water and should not be removed.

-If the tree is to be stored for more than a couple of days before display, it is advisable to place its trunk in water and store it in a cool, shaded, and protected area such as an unheated garage.

-If the tree has been cut within the past 12 hours, it will not be necessary to re-cut the trunk prior to display indoors.  If it has been longer than 12 hours since harvest, the trunk should be re-cut to improve water uptake.

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