Healthy Tree, Happy Home

Dec 13, 2021


There is nothing that compares to the beauty of a live Christmas tree standing in the corner of your living room adorned with lights and ornaments. The sweet smell of pine is a welcoming aroma during the holidays and is hard to replicate artificially with candles.
 
When trees are not properly cared for, their branches can become brittle early in the season, causing pine needles to make a mess on your floor and ornaments to fall.
 
Keep your live tree vibrant and healthy with these four tips:
 
  1. Acclimate your tree
Did you know that taking your tree directly into your home after it has been cut can cause unnecessary stress on it? The sudden change from a colder outdoor environment to your warm home can cause the tree to dry out prematurely, resulting in weak branches and loss of needles. Instead, place your tree in a bucket of water and set it in an unheated area such as a garage, basement, or enclosed porch for two to three days before bringing it inside.
 
  1. Make a fresh cut
Within just a few hours of cutting your tree, dried sap will form a seal over the trunk, preventing the tree from drinking water. If you are unable to get your tree in water within this time frame, make sure to cut off about an inch of the base immediately before placing it in the tree stand. Later in the season, if you notice your tree is not intaking water, this sap seal is likely the cause and will have to be removed.
 
  1. Plan the location
Location matters when you are trying to preserve the life of your tree. Many people like the look of a beautiful tree beside a roaring fireplace, but any heat source will cause your tree to dry out at a much quicker pace. Keep your tree away from fireplaces, stoves, heaters, and air ducts. A cooler location is better than a warm one, and one with natural light is always preferred.
 
  1. Water, water, water
An average 6-foot tree requires at least one gallon of water every day to stay fresh. This amount increases with larger trees and decreases with smaller ones. Check the water levels daily to ensure the tree stand never runs dry, causing another sap seal to form. Indoor heating and a drier environment can also cause needles to dry out, so use a spray bottle to mist the branches and needles once a day to prevent them from becoming brittle. Using a humidifier will also help to add moisture to the room to keep your tree fresh longer.
 
            These tips may sound simple, but they are oh so important for maintaining a healthy tree all through the Christmas season. Need more advice and helpful tips for a successful holiday? Just visit your local Co-op and ask away!
 
For more content like this, check out the latest issue of the Cooperator.

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