One of the best parts of the holiday season is having the opportunity to welcome a fresh evergreen tree into our homes. There’s no better way to get in the Christmas spirit than by lighting the tree and decorating it with festive ornaments, but sooner or later we must bid the season farewell and take our Christmas tree out to the curb. The good news is, there are a few simple strategies you can use to keep your Christmas tree fresh and healthy for as long as possible.
Trim the Trunk
A Christmas tree stays alive by absorbing water through special vessels called vascules at the base of its trunk. Once the cut starts to dry out, however, these vascules become clogged and make it difficult for the tree to soak up moisture. Before you bring your tree inside, trim about an inch off the bottom of the trunk to make sure those vascules are open and able to absorb as much water as possible.
Watch the Water Level
The key to keeping a Christmas tree fresh is making sure the trunk never has a chance to dry out and become clogged with resin. Be sure to check the water level in your Christmas tree stand once a day and refill it anytime the water falls below the halfway point. Don’t worry about putting unnecessary additives in the water; clean tap water is all you need to keep the tree from drying out.
Maintain a Cool Environment
Position your Christmas tree away from heat sources such as radiators and air ducts. This will not only keep the tree fresh, but also help you avoid potential fire hazards. You might also want to consider dropping the temperature on the thermostat by a few degrees and keeping a humidifier in the room with the tree as well.
Remember: no matter how well you care for your tree, you will eventually have to take it down. Keeping a dry tree in your house for too long can constitute a serious fire hazard. In general, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and take down your Christmas tree as soon as you notice it starting to dry out.