Christmas trees are symbols of the holiday season and the spirit of giving that the season champions. Choosing and decorating a Christmas tree is a tradition for many families, and depending on the trees they choose, families may have some work to do to keep their trees glowing all season long.
Artificial Christmas trees require little, if any, maintenance. But live Christmas trees, which some people feel are more authentic and welcoming than their artificial counterparts, require daily maintenance. In addition to supplying the tree with water at least once per day, live Christmas tree owners can take these steps to prolong the life of their trees.
· Protect the tree on the way home. Your tree might be vulnerable to damage as you transport it from the farm to your living room. Unwrapped trees placed atop vehicles can be dried out by the wind. Prevent wind damage by wrapping the tree if you plan to place it atop your vehicle. If possible, lay the tree in the bed of a pickup truck and close the cover over the bed. If you don’t have access to a pickup truck but can use a minivan or SUV to transport your tree, see if the tree fits inside your vehicle. If it doesn’t, wrap it tightly in a blanket or another form of cover, making sure the cover won’t blow off in the wind when you hit the open road.
· Have the tree cut before you take it off the lot. If you typically purchase your tree from a florist or tree lot instead of a tree farm, then remember to ask the seller to recut the stem of the tree before you take it home. Tree farm trees are freshly cut, but trees sold away from the farm might have been chopped down weeks before they are ultimately sold. During the interval between being cut down and sold, trees’ vascular systems can clog and prevent the tree from getting the water it needs to survive the season. A fresh cut of the stem unclogs the system and ensures the tree will be able to consume water.
· Avoid placing the tree near heaters or drafty windows. Many people know that placing a live tree near a potentially hot heating vent poses a fire hazard. But doing so also can dry out the tree, decreasing the chances it will make it through the season. Placing the tree near drafty windows also can dry out the tree, so try to find a spot in your home with a consistent temperature.
· Water the tree often. Christmas trees need lots of water to make it through the season. You may notice the water in the tree stand disappears quickly when you first bring the tree home. That’s because freshly cut trees will consume more water than trees that were cut several weeks ago. As the season goes on and the tree’s vascular system begins to clog, you might not need to water the tree as much as you did when you first brought it home. But check the tree’s water stand twice per day when you first bring it home, refilling the stand with water whenever necessary.
A few tricks of the trade can help holiday celebrants maintain lush, awe-inspiring Christmas trees throughout the holiday season.