Caring For A Cut Xmas Tree

1. As soon as you get your tree home, saw off about 1/2 an inch of the base of the trunk of the tree to expose fresh wood to the water you are about to offer the tree allowing the tree to absorb that water more easily. As soon as you make the cut, submerge the trunk into a pail of water until you are ready to move the tree into the house. A tree will use over 2 gallons of water in the first day after trimming the butt of the trunk, so keep an eye on the water level.

2. A fresh tree will retain its moisture content and thereby keep its fragrance and needles if kept in a stand that has a good water holding capacity. A fresh cut tree can absorb quarts of water every day if you make it available. There are now on the market kits of tubes that can connect a gallon jug to the tree stand allowing you to monitor the water levels in the tree stand and to replace the water easily when necessary.

3. Optional. Add preservative to the water - Just as you would add preservative to the water for cut flowers, to prolong their blossoms, you should add a preservative to the water of the Christmas tree. There are several products on the market, usually available from the nurseries and garden centers selling Christmas trees. You can make you own by adding a can of citrus soft drink (7 Up, Sprite, Squirt) to each quart of water you use in the tree stand.

4. Optional. Spray the tree - There are two sprays you can use to improve the tree’s freshness over time and to reduce the chance of fire. Anti-transpirant spray, available from garden centers, will reduce the trees’ transpiration rate and thereby slow down the drying out process. Be sure to coat all the needles when you apply this plastic material. You can also use a flame retardant spray that will not truly fireproof the tree, but it will make the needles and the branches resist small flames and sparks from electrical short circuits.

5. Good location is important. The tree will stay fresh longer if it is kept as cool as possible. That means don’t place your tree near the fireplace (even though it looks nice there) or any other heat source like the hot air vent.

6. Pay Attention To Safety - With all these precautions, a Christmas tree is still a flammable object sitting unsupervised in the middle of your home. Check your light sets for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loos connections. Discard a light set if there is any question. Use no more than three standard-sized sets of lights per single extension cord to avoid overloads.

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