Believe it or not, Christmas is only a week away. In the midst of all the cookie baking and present wrapping, it’s also important to make sure your Christmas tree looks its best for when Santa comes down the chimney next week. If properly maintained, a good tree can last a month or even longer. Here are some simple (and critical) tips for making sure your tree is fresh and fragrant on its big day.
Unless you cut down the tree yourself, it’s likely that it was cut weeks before arriving in your living room. If that’s the case, it’s important to make a fresh cut at the base of the tree to allow water to enter through the trunk. If you haven’t yet trimmed the tree, cut a ¼ inch off the bottom of the trunk before putting it in its stand. If you’ve decorated the tree without doing this, try to drill a few small holes in the base of the trunk where water can enter. While not ideal, this method will allow some moisture to enter the tree through the stem.
Top off your tree stand with water daily, and check it in the morning and evening to monitor how much water is being absorbed. As a general rule of thumb, your tree should use a quart of water for each inch of its diameter. While some people like to add something to the water, such as a feed or preservatives, studies are beginning to show that these methods don’t make much of a difference after all.
Choose a location in your house that protects the tree from exposure to elements that might speed up the drying process. Keep the tree away from direct sunlight, heaters or fans, or any place that has large temperature fluctuations. While the tree might look great next to your living room fireplace or wood-burning stove, such a location will quickly turn your tree into a Yule Log. Also make sure that the lights you are using don’t overheat and cause the tree’s branches to dry out, creating a fire hazard. Older, incandescent Christmas lights with the larger, colored bulbs can often create this problem.
To ensure that you don’t awake to a stocking full of coal on Christmas morning, follow these simple steps for your Tannenbaum. Providing good, basic care to your Christmas tree is the secret to keeping that “fresh off the farm” look that your friends and family will admire.