Christmas season is one of those times that we can take some time out to ponder our impact on the environment and how we reduce our “footprint.” One of the endearing symbols of Christmas is the Christmas tree. Perhaps you are already aware of all the pros and cons of live trees versus plastic trees and have decided to go green with living Christmas trees. Here are some tips on how to take care of them and keep them fresh.
One of the grouses about Christmas trees is their needles falling out. Generally, balsam, Fraser and Douglas fir trees keep their needles on relatively long, while spruce pines shed their needles quite fast. Before you go home with your tree, test it for its freshness and pliability – Give it a shake and drop it on the cut end of the trunk onto the floor. Some needles should come out, but that is ok. If a lot of needles fall out, get another tree.
How do you keep your Christmas tree fresh? Saw off the bottom 1-2 inches of the trunk and soak the trunk in warm water. Warm water dilutes away any exuded sap from the cut and helps the tree with absorption. You can also spray the needles with water using a mist sprayer.
You can help the Christmas tree absorb more water by drilling a hole right up the trunk and stuffing it with thick cotton. The cotton helps absorb water into the trunk, acting like a wick. Of course, this only applies for non-potted Christmas trees.
Keep the tree away from heat sources like the fireplace, radiators, heaters and sunlight. If you get yourself a potted tree, wrap wet towels around the root ball and put the tree in a tray or pot filled with a little water. The clothing acts as a wick drawing in water in this case. If you’re worried about needles and debris dropping onto the floor, spread out a heavy plastic sheet underneath the tree.
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