Having a Christmas tree is a popular way to get into that holiday spirit every year. These days people are starting to decorate soon after Thanksgiving, however it can be difficult to make your live Christmas tree last through the whole month until the Christmas holiday actually arrives. But have no fear; there are a few things that you can do to help your tree stick around for the month without having to celebrate with an unfit tree for the holidays.
1. The first tip is to pick the freshest tree possible. A tree that that has been cut more recently will be able to last longer than one that has been prepped and sent to local tree retailers. You can always ask the salesperson how long ago it was cut, or even go out into a wooded area and find your own tree.
2. Don’t pick a tree with a lot of brown needles on it already, because this means that the tree is well past its prime and will likely not last long. When choosing your tree, make sure that the needles are flexible and bendable as this is a good indicator of its freshness.
3. Mount your tree as soon as possible after bringing it home, and give it lots of water. Even though most trees can withstand a day of not having water, it will without a doubt last longer if you give it some hydration right away. You will want to mount your tree while its still moist and wet because a dry trunk may already mean that the tree is starting to lose some of its life. Make sure to water your tree every day, because it will be drinking a lot especially in the beginning.
4. Keep your tree away from the windows and vents. Allowing it to stay in the shade for the month will keep it from drying out as fast, and it will live longer as a result. Also, keeping your tree away from direct sunlight will prevent it from losing its color as quickly.
5. If your tree has been out of the woods or tree lot for at least five hours before getting inside your home, cut an inch off the trunk. Usually in that amount of time the ends will start to harden up, and it will attempt to close it off. If you cut that little extra amount of the end of the tree it will be able to drink water better and stay moist longer.
6. Give your tree a sugar source in addition to its water. Since the tree has been cut from its natural location it will need something to give it the nutrients it needs. Maybe once a week or so put a couple teaspoons of sugar into the water mount below your tree. Sugar is one of the things that trees need in the wild, so helping it out in this way may not be a bad idea.
7. To reduce the amount of heat that your tree endures, try using the newer LED lights as opposed to some of the older style ones. The heat from a lot of bulbs on string lights can be very taxing to the branches and dry them out a lot faster than you would like.
8. Try brining in a humidifier into the same room as your tree. Adding some moisture to the air will also help it not dry out. During the winter, most places experience really dry air that can get into the home as well. Not only is this solution a great option for the tree, but it will also help you and your family get the some humidity during the dry winter months.
Stewart Scott is a certified arborist and is the owner of , where he offers the best tree service Columbia MO has to offer. Cevet has provided tree trimming and other tree care services to mid-Missouri for almost 20 years.