Real Christmas trees add a hint of magic to your home during the holidays. While a high-end artificial tree can be beautiful, it just lacks that authentic aroma and traditional satisfaction. That’s why more than 25 million Americans buy one each year, and why 350 million Christmas trees are growing right this minute in the United States. We’ve put together a simple guide to caring for your live Christmas tree so you can enjoy it all season long:
Be a careful shopper
Deals and discounts are tempting, but for a tree that’s going to last you’ll want to choose a reputable farm or nursery. Take a look around the store before you buy–are there tree needles covering the floor? Then you’ll probably want to look elsewhere. Trees that drop needles before you even buy them have a higher chance of covering your living room carpet in needles also. Look for the most popular types of trees, like Douglas fir or Scotch pine, and ask a sales associate all of your questions.
A quick cut
If the tree hasn’t been recently cut, you’ll want to take just a little off the trunk once you get it home. This will help with water absorption and keep your tree happy and healthy. Then get ready to water! A freshly cut Christmas tree can guzzle a gallon of water in the first day, so keep its thirst quenched!
Avoid the Heat
You’ll also want to keep your tree away from any source of heat. Obviously near a fireplace is a dangerous home for your new tree, but did you know that any source of heat (like vents, heaters, and even sunlight) can raise the temperature and shorten its lifespan? Keep the tree calm, cool, and collected … and away from direct sunlight.
There are a number of additives you can add to your tree water. Some are store-bought, and some are just myths (like aspirin, or honey). There’s little evidence that adding anything to the water will prolong the life of your tree. After all, the tree is just really thirsty. Keep it watered, and feel the needles often to make sure they aren’t drying out.
When the holiday season has passed and you’re ready to recycle your tree, you have plenty of options. Many locations, like Holmes Lake, offer a tree drop-off site for recycling. But you can use your tree as well. Use it for a wood burning fireplace, kindling, a place for birds to roost in a large yard, or even sew the needles into a potpourri pillow. Whichever you choose, make sure your tree gets used as a resource instead of just discarded.