Christmas Tree Success

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas, everywhere we go. There is still something very nostalgic about having a live Christmas tree.  Popular varieties are Scotch Pine, White Pine, and Balsam Fir.

Here are a few pointers on choosing and caring for a live tree.

Selecting an Awesome Christmas Tree:

  •  First – know the final destination of your tree – determine the height required and width needed, give it space to stretch out
  • A freshly cut, well hydrated Christmas tree should have the following characteristics:
    • A healthy green color & is fragrant – indicates it has maintained its water content
    • Strong looking – not ‘wilty’
    • The needles stay on when you gently pass you hand down a branch
    • The needles are pliable, they don’t snap when you lightly bend them
    • The outer needles stay on when you pick the tree up and gently tap it on its stump – inner needles will always slough off, it’s part of their natural cycle
  • Check for a stump that is at least 8-10” long to give you wiggle room for trimming
  • Look for any insects

Caring for your Christmas Tree:

  • Store your tree outdoors until you are ready to decorate it
    • Cut off about 1-2” from the base to open the pores which have been sealed off by the pitch or sap solidifying; and place it in a bucket of water that holds at least 4 litres or 1 gallon of water.
    • Keep it in a sheltered location protected from sun & wind
  • When you are ready to move it indoors, cut off another 1-2” and place it in a Christmas tree holder that again holds a minimum of 4 litres or 1 gallon of warm water – this encourages the sap to flow so the branches can re-hydrate
  • Water every day, they may drink up to 4 litres or 1 gallon a day because bringing it indoors breaks its dormancy
  • Keep the water level above the cut line of the stump or ideally you will need to re-cut that stump because the pores will seal – and you SO don’t want that to happen!! – set an alarm to remind yourself to water the tree if you have to
  • The cooler the tree is, the longer it will last
    • Keep it a good distance from sources of heat such as fireplaces, heat registers, wood stoves, baseboard heaters, etc
  • An anti-transpirant spray may be helpful in extending the life of your tree by decreasing the moisture loss through the branches and needles
  • Adding sugar, baking soda, bleach, etc to the water has no effect on extending the life of your tree – use clear water

Safety Tips:

The possibility of your live Christmas tree going up in flames is a real and present danger. Here are some tips to keep your tree safe:

  • Never use real candles
  • Use non-flammable Christmas decorations
  • Use LED lights – they stay cooler
  • Turn off your Christmas lights when you are out of your house or sleeping

Recycle Your Tree

 Remember to recycle your tree once you are done with it.

  • In Strathcona County:
    • For those with curbside service, tree pickup is Jan 2-13, 2017
    • Instructions for rural residents are on the website
    • More information can be found on the Strathcona County website

Sources:  http://www.almanac.com/content/christmas-tree-care-tips, http://www.christmastrees.on.ca/index.php?action=display&cat=34, http://www.almanac.com/content/christmas-tree-care-tips, http://www.strathcona.ca/departments/utilities/waste-collection-recycling/special-events/christmas-tree-pickup/, https://www.evergreen.ca/blog/entry/10-easy-care-tips-for-your-christmas-tree/, https://www.bugwood.org/christmas/pdf/97007.pdf

Contact us today for more information on caring for live trees!