Ashleigh Smith + photo

Ashleigh Smith

Dec 10
3 min read
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Every year I have the debate, real tree or the plastic one that's stored under the stairs. On the one hand, a real tree fills your home with the most divine Christmas scent that is never captured just right with candles. But real trees also require more care.

With a manufactured tree you can get the same look year after year without checking on it every day. Some people will swear all the way that their way is the right way. The choice is really up to you though. Some years you may opt for the easy fake tree, but for those times you want to go the extra mile during the Christmas season, we have some helpful tips for getting the most out of your fresh tree.

If you have ever had a fresh Christmas tree before, you know they can drop a lot of needles. This is because of the shock it experiences when moving from a cold outdoor environment to the toasty, temperature controlled home. To reduce needle drop you want to keep it as healthy as you can by acclimating it and keeping it well watered.

After Purchasing A Real Christmas Tree:

  1. Wrap your tree with a tarp to prevent damage while being transported. This will also protect your vehicle from getting sap on it.
  2. Immediately after getting home give the trunk a fresh cut about an inch from the bottom. This will give it better water intake.
  3. Place the tree in a protected, but unheated environment such as a garage or basement for the night to help it adjust to an indoor environment. This will reduce needle drop over time. Make sure it is in water during this time.
  4. Give the trunk another fresh cut, just as you did before.
  5. Place the tree in its final display location with plenty of water and decorate.
  6. When you are ready to take your tree down, use it for mulching, compost, or find a local green recycling center.

Water Recommendations:

Christmas trees need a lot of water! You will want to make sure your tree stand has the capacity to hold at least a gallon or more. When you first get it set up, the tree will take in more water as it adjusts from the shock of being moved. This is one of the reasons a fresh cut to the trunk is so important.

The resin will clog up the tree’s vesicles as it settles to the location of the last cut reducing the time you can get out of your tree. A fresh cut opens up the vesicles to take in water, which should be supplied as soon as possible.

Be sure to check the water level a couple of times a day for the first 2-3 days. After that you will need to check it daily. You might have heard of some recommendations to add things like sugar or lemon juice to your water. Don’t do this. Christmas trees just need plain tap water to get the most life out of them.

Be careful to keep your tree away from main heat sources like space heaters, fireplaces, and vents. The heat sources for your house will cause the tree to dry out quickly making your tree drop needles faster while becoming a greater fire hazard.

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