How to keep your Christmas tree fresher for longer
Christmas is no doubt the most wonderful time of year. As well as eating our weight in mince pies to mark the occasion, another tradition in every household is to deck the halls, with the Christmas tree certainly the star of the show.
Whilst artificial Christmas trees have improved in recent years – the best artificial trees are now able to fool people in terms of both appearance and texture – nothing beats a real Christmas tree. The look, texture, and smell of a real tree signify Christmas, and you’re certain to have fun picking your own festive specimen at your local Christmas tree farm or garden centre. Going for the real thing is also better for the environment as BBC News explains:
“…an average artificial tree was made of plastic which comes from oil. This accounts for two-thirds of its carbon footprint. Another quarter of its environmental impact comes from the industrial emissions produced when the tree is manufactured. He said a 2m artificial tree has a carbon footprint equivalent to 40kg of greenhouse gas emissions, which is more than twice that of a real tree that ends its life in landfill – and more than 10 times that of real trees that are burnt.”
If you’ve decided to choose a real tree to celebrate Christmas in style this year, one of the biggest challenges for both novice and experienced tree owners is its maintenance. Here we reveal how to ensure your real tree stays in tip-top condition, not just for Christmas Day but into the New Year…
Be picky when picking
Selecting a healthy tree is the key to ensuring longevity. Shopping at a tree farm will guarantee that your tree is as fresh as it can be.
Use all your senses to pick the perfect tree. Make sure it looks healthy, green and has few brown needles. Run your fingers along the tree’s branches, if the needles fall off then move onto the next one!
Always choose a tree that has been growing or is displayed in a shadier spot rather than a sunny location.
Give the trunk a trim
A good tree seller will trim the trunk before packing it up ready for the journey to your home. Trimming the trunk again or giving it a cut if the supplier didn’t trim it once you return home is what we’d recommend.
A quick trim of around one-inch will improve water absorption, allowing your tree to get the moisture it needs to thrive.
Water your tree regularly
Maintaining a real tree is something you have to think about daily if you want yours to stay in great condition. Give your tree a refreshing drink of water every day but don’t listen to the old wives’ tales that tell you to dilute the water with sugar, corn syrup, aspirin or bleach.
All you need is lots of clean water to keep your tree fresher for longer. Check water levels daily and top up where necessary. Trees can drink as much as 500ml of water a day!
In addition to this, you should spray your tree with room temperature water every day. With regular spraying, you can prevent the dryness that exacerbates that dreaded needle drop as well as make your Christmas tree more fire-resistant. Put safety first by unplugging your Christmas lights before you spray.
Set the scene
Whilst you won’t want to sacrifice a warm, cosy home this festive season to keep your tree fresh, positioning it away from the radiator or turning the radiator closest to your tree down will slow the drying effect that leaves real trees looking lacklustre and feeling brittle.
You’ll also find that your tree will require less water when positioned away from heat sources, which will help you save water at home.