How to keep your Christmas tree alive and looking good all December
If properly cared for, a tree will keep reasonably fresh and definitely remain green for a month – great news for Christmas-fanatics who put their trees up on the 1st of December. However, things can turn pear-shaped quickly, these tips will ensure it doesn’t. So here are our top tips for how to keep your Christmas tree alive to ensure it looks just as good on Christmas day than it did when you first put it up.
Pick the right tree:
Ideally, you want to buy your tree from a farm that chops it down in front of you, that way you can ensure it’s the freshest it can be. If you’re buying from a vendor that sells pre-cut trees, make sure you’re purchasing one that has been stored in the shade and given plenty of water. Inspect the tree before you make your decision to ensure there are no brown or dead branches or needles.
Re-trim the trunk:
The most common mistake people make when buying a fresh Christmas tree is leaving it out of water for more than half an hour, or allowing the water in the stand/bucket to run completely dry. When the base is not in water, sap leeches out forming a resin-like seal at the base of the tree. Once this happens, the tree can’t drink the water it needs because the base is no longer porous. The good news is that if this happens there is a fix: saw a thin sliver off the base of the tree so that the bottom is porous again and able to drink water. Trees drink the most water in the first few days after being cut so that is the time to pay extra attention that they don’t run dry.
Give it a good stand:
Store your tree in anything that supports the tree well and that holds plenty of water – at least four litres of water. Never put the tree in sand or soil. Large tree stands with a wide footprint and adjustable levers are a good option for people with small children and/or pets. Some people go for a bucket with bricks but it’s a lot of hassle so most usually come back for a stand.
Pick a shady spot:
A shady spot, out of direct sunlight, is the best place for your Christmas tree to live as sunlight will cause it to wilt ahead of its time. Christmas trees are divas; they hate sitting in a warm room that has no circulation because their needles will go limp. But, they also hate air conditioning. Making sure there is some fresh air circulating through the room is the best way to keep them happy.