Every year between 25-30 million people take the plunge and purchase a live Christmas tree for their festive décor. If that sounds like a lot of trees, consider that there are currently 350 million Christmas trees growing in the United States. Crazy, right? So, let’s take a look at how to properly care for your live Christmas tree; you’ll get your money’s worth by enjoying its beauty all month long.
- Start with the buying process. Choose a reputable nursery or tree farm. If you see needles scattered around the floor, try a different store. The Farmer’s Almanac reports that the most popular types of Christmas trees sold are Scotch pine, Douglas fir, white pine, and balsam fir. Ask a store associate if you have questions about which kind is right for you.
- Before you start decorating, take a few inches off the trunk with a saw, and after the tree is secured in a tree stand, let the watering begin! A freshly cut tree can down nearly a gallon of water in the first 24 hours. We’ve all seen Christmas Vacation; don’t let the tree dry out! A watered tree is a beautiful tree, so treat it like an extra pet this month.
- For safety reasons, keep your tree away from any sources of heat. A tree might look breathtaking next to a fireplace, but it’s just not worth the risk. The same rule applies to heaters and direct sunlight. Sunlight won’t be a safety concern, but trees kept at a lower temperature are less likely to dry out and drop needles—your vacuum will thank you!
- Avoid adding anything to the water you give your tree. Additives and old wives’ tales like honey or aspirin can be tempting to add, but they aren’t necessary and won’t prolong the life of your tree. Instead, you simply need to feel the needles on your tree for dryness to determine if you should add more water.
- Lastly, when the season is over and you’re ready to dispose of your tree, you can get crafty or simply recycle it. Holmes Lake offers an annual Christmas tree drop-off in January where discarded trees are turned into mulch. You can also consider cutting the tree for your own firewood, using the trunk as a perch for birds to feed, or using the branches as DIY mulch.