Monday, December 16, 2013

There’s More to Taking Care of a Real Xmas Tree than You Think

Do you know how many real Xmas trees are predicted to be bought in the U.S. this year? Believe it or not almost 29 million! I was surprised to find that out and it made me wonder how many people really know how to take care of the tree to keep it safe from fire and last through the holidays? If you’re one of the 29 million this year be sure to read on!

Freshness Counts!
Just the same as buying produce at your local market it’s important that your natural Xmas tree be as fresh (recently cut down) as possible. A recently harvested tree will last longer in your home and will dramatically reduce the possibility of fire. The best way to tell is to make sure that the needles bend easily without breaking and are still moist.

Handle with Care
If you are transporting your tree yourself it’s a good idea to wrap it in a plastic tarp on the way home to protect it from damage. The first thing you’ll want to do when you get home is to cut off about 2 inches from the bottom of the tree. This will allow it to absorb water much more easily and help it to remain moist.

Trees are VERY Thirsty!
Most people have no idea just how much water a cut tree will absorb every day but the estimate is about 1 quart of water daily for every 1 inch of diameter. That’s a LOT of water. If your tree has a 4 inch diameter at the bottom (which is a big tree) it will need approximately 1 gallon of water per day. A dry tree is a definite fire hazard and will die quickly so it’s vital to keep it moist. If you do happen to forget and it dries out you should drill 3 or 4 new holes in the bottom and continue to keep it watered.

A Trick Worth Knowing
You can extend the life of your tree by adding a tablespoon of sugar or corn syrup each time you add more water. My grand mom used to add an aspirin! I don’t know if that really works or not but she swore by it! There are also Xmas tree preservatives available if you prefer.

Safety First
Remember to place your tree away from heat sources; this includes direct sunlight. If you happen to have a room humidifier using it will extend the life of the tree as well and only use lights that are specifically designed for trees. I’m sure I don’t need to warn you NOT to place your tree near a fireplace but just in case you get caught up in all the excitement, DON’T!

Finally, when the holiday season is at an end it’s nice to know that most major cities now offer a free recycling service for discarded Xmas trees. A simple phone call should do it. Happy holidays to all!

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