How to Properly Care for a Real Christmas Tree
Fresh Cut - One of the most important things to do to keep a real Christmas Tree alive is to cut a ½" inch off the base of the tree just before putting it in water. When a tree is cut and left for more than several hours without water, the tree will form a seal of sap around the base which will make it impossible for the tree to take in new water. We will make the fresh cut for you at Tree Towne.
Preserve - Always use 'Prolong' or 'Tree Life' tree preservatives. These products give the tree the nutrients to help it last through the Holiday season.
At Home - If you do not intend on setting your tree up right away, store the tree in a bucket of water in a cool place, out of the sun and protected from the wind. Do not let your tree run out of water!
WATER! - One of the biggest problems is that once people put their tree into water, they don’t check it until the next day or so. A tree will drink 65% of its water in the first week. Tree stands with very small water reservoirs cannot hold the amount of water the tree needs in the first few days after being cut.
A good rule of thumb is that for every 1" of diameter, a tree will use a quart of water per day. For example, a 4" diameter tree will use 1 gallon of water per day for the first several days.
1. Displaying trees in water in a traditional reservoir type stand is the most effective way of maintaining their freshness and minimizing needle loss problems.
2. Make a fresh cut to remove a 1/4” to 1” thick disk of wood from the base of the trunk before putting the tree in the stand. Make the cut perpendicular to the stem axis. Don’t cut the trunk at an angle, or into a v-shape, which makes it far more difficult to hold the tree in the stand and also reduces the amount of water available to the tree. Tree Towne will make the fresh cut for you!
3. Once home, place the tree in water as soon as possible. Most species can go 6-8 hours after cutting the trunk and still take up water. Don’t bruise the cut surface or get it dirty.
4. If needed, trees can be temporarily stored for several days in a cool location. Place the freshly cut trunk in a bucket that is kept full of water.
5. To display the trees indoors, use a stand with an adequate water holding capacity for the tree. As a general rule, stands should provide 1 quart of water per inch of stem diameter. Devices are available to help maintain a constant water level in the stand.
6. Use a stand that fits your tree. Avoid whittling the sides of the trunk down to fit a stand. The outer layers of wood are the most efficient in taking up water and should not be removed.
7. Keep displayed trees away from sources of heat (fireplaces, heaters, heat vents, direct sunlight). Lowering the room temperature will slow the drying process, resulting in less water consumption each day.
8. The temperature of the water used to fill the stand is not important and does not affect water uptake.
9. Check the stand daily to make sure that the level of water does not go below the base of the tree. With many stands, there can still be water in the stand even though the base of the tree is no longer submerged in water.
10. Drilling a hole in the base of the trunk does not improve water uptake.
Also, see our Christmas Tree Safety Tips.