Tips on Caring for Your Tree
Caring for your tree is important; here are some handy tips to make sure your tree is cared for.
Selecting a tree
- Get a healthy tree - Don't buy a tree that is losing green needles, or has dry, brittle twigs or a musty smell. Excessive needle loss can be detected by shaking the tree.
- Size of the tree - Do not buy a tree that is too large for the area where it will be on display. Apart from paying more than necessary, you will have to cut off a large section of the lower trunk which may affect the natural appearance of the tree.
Transporting the tree
- Wrap the tree – Ensure your chosen tree is wrapped in netting.
- Orientation on the car - Put the bottom of the tree aiming forward to protect the needles from being blown off.
- Tie it securely! - If the tree is carried on the outside of a vehicle, tie it securely.
Storing the tree before Christmas
- Keep out of the sunlight - Do not leave a cut Christmas tree lying in the sunshine for long periods of time.
- Keep it in water - Make sure to keep the butt of the tree in a bucket of water, that you can refill as needed.
Setting up the tree in your stand
- Use a stand that fits your tree.
- Cold water - Do not use hot water in the stand; it is of no benefit.
- No chemicals - Do not use chemicals in the stand to prevent evaporation.
Decorating your tree
- Keep away from heat - Keep displayed trees away from heat sources (fireplaces, heaters, heat vents, direct sunlight). Lowering the room temperature will slow drying, resulting in less water consumption.
- Lights - Use only approved lights and electrical cords and devices on trees. Check electrical cords and lights for damage prior to placement on the tree.
- Pets - Keep pets out of the room in which the tree is placed, especially if you can't be there to supervise. Cats are known for jumping onto Christmas trees, especially when pursued by another pet. Use a ceiling hook to keep the tree from toppling. Both cats and dogs can knock down and break glass ornaments, then cut themselves on the pieces. Pets may also gnaw on electrical cords for Christmas tree lights. So hide them when possible, or help prevent injury by purchasing a pet-proof cover for the wiring.
- Turn off tree lights when you go to bed or leave the house. Use only approved electrical decorations and extension cords, and check to be sure no cords have frayed since you last used the lights.
Watering your tree
- Always keep the tree stand filled with water. Dried sap will form a seal over the cut stump within several hours if the water level falls below the base of the tree. If this occurs, make another fresh cut in the butt-end and promptly fill the stand with water. Use hot tap water which will soften sap and facilitate absorption.
- How much water - A tree will absorb as much as a gallon of water or more in the 24 hours after it is cut, and one or more quarts everyday after. Maintaining a steady water level prevents the needles from drying out and dropping off and the boughs from drooping. Water will also keep the tree fragrant. Do not allow the water pan to empty or go below the tree base
Taking down the tree
- Disconnect all electrical devices prior to removing them from the tree.
- Never burn a tree in a fire place or wood stove. Pine trees have a lot of sap which can flash and also create a chimney fire.