Christmas is right around the corner, and if you’re like many homeowners across the country, you’re probably getting ready to pick up/have already picked up your tree. But before you decorate that perfect balsam fir or spruce this holiday season, make sure you are equipped to help it look great and last as long as possible. Read on to learn how to properly take care of your Christmas tree, and remember that our landscaping experts at Purple Care are here for all your tree care needs.
5 Tips for Taking Care of Your Christmas Tree This Holiday Season
- Always Re-Cut the Trunk: Before bringing your new Christmas tree inside this year, make a fresh cut about an inch from the bottom. This will reopen your tree before you put it in a stand, allowing it to drink the water it needs to survive.
- Position Your Tree Away from Any Heat Sources: One of the most dangerous things you can do when it comes to your Christmas tree – not to mention your home at large – is to put it next to any kind of a heat source. This includes fireplaces, of course, but also wood stoves, space heaters, heat registers, and even screens like TVs and computer monitors. While active fires can obviously send sparks flying, accidentally setting your tree ablaze, any amount of excess heat near your tree can inadvertently speed up evaporation in your tree. Bottom line: the closer your tree is to any heat source, the more moisture it will lose and the sooner it will dry up.
- Water Your Tree Immediately: Once you have cut an inch off your tree and found a suitable place to position it, you will want to put it in water right away. Ideally, your stand should have a large basin, capable of holding about a gallon of water at a time. A lot of people assume they should give their tree cold water, but you should actually give it hot water to start off, as it will be absorbed quicker and allow your tree to rehydrate as quickly as possible.
- Do Not Put Additives In Your Tree’s Water: The best thing to keep your tree looking beautiful and healthy is plain tap water. Although there are plenty of commercial additives on the market that advertise their ability to strengthen tree health, many of these products have actually been found to harm Christmas trees, causing them to struggle to retain moisture and even prompting needle loss. The same is true for homemade plant food. While salt and magnesium additives may help your Christmas cactus grow, when it comes to your tree, skip the Miracle-Gro and just stick with water.
- Make Sure the Water Level Doesn’t Dip Too Low: If you let the water level in your Christmas tree stand dip below the fresh cut you made, the tree’s stem may reseal, preventing it from drinking water. Remember, your tree needs a LOT of water to survive. It is not unusual for the average Christmas tree to drink as much as two gallons of water the first day you set it up. You don’t want to overwater your tree to the point where the stand is overflowing and it drowns, but you never want the water in the stand to completely disappear, either. Just remember to keep an eye on your tree and how much water it is taking over the Christmas season. As long as you do this on a daily basis, your tree will last for weeks and look beautiful the whole time.