How to preserve your Christmas tree
Many of us like to have a real tree at Christmas, but keeping it looking its best can be a challenge at times. Here are our tips to help you keep your tree looking good for longer.
1. Real Christmas trees come either cut or still with their roots intact (living trees).
2. If you are going to have a living tree, then treat it much like a potted plant – keep it in a container with soil and water generously to prevent it drying out. Ideally, these trees should not be kept indoors for more than ten days, before being replanted outdoors – hopefully for you to bring in again next Christmas!
3. If you are going to have a cut tree, try and choose one that has been freshly cut rather than one which has been cut for a while. Run your fingers along the branches and check to see that the needles don’t start to drop.
4. Most people bring their tree back home on top of the car so, to prevent the wind from drying it out, cover your tree when bringing it home.
5. Acclimatise the tree before bringing it directly into the house; going from the cold outdoors to heated indoors can cause stress on the tree, resulting in dryness and the premature loss of needles. So, leave it in an unheated area such as the garage or basement for a day or two before bringing it inside.
6. Before bringing your cut tree indoors, recut the trunk about an inch or so above the base to help it absorb water more readily. Its vascular system, which draws the water up into the tree, will have clogged with sap, so this will open it up again. Make it a straight cut, rather than cutting it at an angle (this will also help when you come to stand it up as well!).
7. Make sure that your tree is placed in a suitable stand with plenty of water, well out of the way of heating vents or cold draughts. Constant heat or fluctuating temperatures will speed up the drying out of a tree. Also avoid standing it in direct, strong sunlight as this will make it fade faster.
8. Most importantly, make sure that you keep the stand topped up with plain water or, for a living tree, keep the soil nice and damp.
How do you keep your real Christmas trees looking good? Let us know over on our Twitter and Facebook pages.