Christmas Tree Care
Follow these tips to keep your Christmas tree looking fresh long after it's cut.
1. Choose a healthy Christmas tree.
Keep these tips in mind as you shop for your Christmas tree:
Look for a healthy, green tree with the least amount of brown needles.
Run a few branches through your hands. The needles should feel pliable and not fall off.
Raise the tree a few inches, then drop the trunk into the ground. Very few green needles should fall off, but it's fine if the tree loses a few brown ones.
2. Trim the trunk.
Mark a fresh cut straight across the base of the trunk to aid water absorption. This gets rid of any dried-over resin that might block the tree from absorbing water.
3. Make sure your Christmas tree always has enough water.
Don't forget to regularly give your Christmas tree water — too little can cause resin to form, which means the tree won't absorb water and it will dry out quickly. Follow this rule of thumb: For every inch of the trunk's diameter, fill the stand with one quart of water.
If you lower the temperature in the room, it can help slow down the drying process (and therefore result in your tree requiring a bit less water), according to the National Christmas Tree Association.
4. Keep the Christmas tree away from heat sources.
Sure, there's nothing more lovely than a beautifully decorated Christmas tree beside a roaring fireplace — but, along with sunlight radiators, air ducts, and stoves, a regularly-used fireplace could contribute to your tree drying out at a much quicker pace.
5. Take your tree down before it dries out.
If you wait too long, you'll have more dead pine needles to deal with. The easiest way to clean up fallen needles is by using your vacuum's hose. Skip the fancy attachments and just use the end of the hose to draw needles directly into the bag or canister.
When you're officially done with your tree, you have a couple options: You can start a new compost pile with it, recycle it, or turn it into mulch yourself. You can also ask your local council about what disposal options it offers, if you're looking for a more eco-friendly solution.