Learn how to make your real Christmas tree last longer this season. While some prefer to use an artificial Christmas tree, many prefer the bountiful beauty of a real Christmas tree. The truth is, with a fresh cut tree, you will reap many benefits such as a fresh scent and fresher air in your home.
There are some downsides when it comes to choosing a real tree. If not properly cared for, your real tree may not make it through the season.
Real Christmas tree vs fake
My dad would set up the Lionel Train set and I would sit for hours under the lights watching the train make its way through the snow-covered trees and village while eating my Nana's Sandtarts cookies.
A few years ago, my husband was traveling quite a bit and there wasn't a lot of time to get a real tree, so I broke down and bought a pre-lit artificial tree.
I will admit, it is super easy to just fit the pieces together and plug it in, but I really do miss having a real tree with the fresh smell of pine and decorating each bough with our family ornaments.
If we did go back to a real tree, I have a few tips to help extend the life of your real Christmas tree so you and your family can enjoy all its glory through the holiday season.
How to Extend the Life of Your Real Christmas Tree
There are several different varieties of trees you can choose from when picking a real Christmas tree, but all will benefit from these 4 important care tips.
Wrap the Tree
When transporting your real Christmas tree home, you will want to make sure that it is properly covered, especially if you are traveling with the tree on top of your vehicle.
The brisk wind on the way home can dry out your tree immediately.
Always make sure to protect your fresh cut tree from wind damage by properly wrapping it and place it trunk forward if on the roof of the car.
Recut the Stem
If you have purchased your Christmas tree off a lot rather than cutting it down yourself, chances are your tree has been sitting there for several days, maybe even weeks. When a fresh cut tree sits in a lot, the vascular system that helps to draw water into it may have clogged.
Before bringing home, have someone cut ¼ of an inch off the bottom of the tree trunk with a hack saw to ensure a fresh open path for water to nourish every branch of your tree.
If necessary for height reasons, you may remove more of the trunk but just make sure to do one straight cut. Cutting angles or drilling holes will further damage the tree.
Make this task easier by using a hand saw and power drill.
Water the Tree
It is crucial to make sure you are watering your tree properly over the holidays. Water is an essential component to keeping your tree alive once the trunk has been cut.
Make sure that you fill the stand as soon as you have recut the trunk of the tree, and always refill as soon as possible. Plain water is the best choice when it comes to keeping your Christmas tree alive longer.
Checking the tree stand at least twice a day for water levels is important as the stand must always remain full.
Keep in mind that a Christmas tree stand doesn’t hold a lot of water either, so frequent checks are a must.
Pay Attention to Location
A real Christmas tree requires an appropriate location within your home. Never put your real tree close to cold drafts or heating vents as both things can speed up your tree's process of drying out.
Strong sunlight also has a huge effect on your tree, so make sure you avoid placing it in direct sunlight as it can cause your tree to fade faster.
A real Christmas tree is a wonderful choice for your holiday decorating this year. Just make sure to take proper care of the tree so you can enjoy it for as long as you can.
- Fresh Cut Christmas Tree
- Blanket or tarp
- Hack Saw
- Power Drill
- Tree Stand
- Hack Saw
- Power Drill
- Wrap the tree and protect your car and real Christmas tree with a blanket or tarp.
- Have someone cut 1/4-inch off the bottom of the trunk with a hack saw to allow an open path for water to nourish every branch of your tree.
- Make sure that you fill the stand as soon as you have recut the trunk of the tree, and always refill as soon as possible. Plain water is the best choice when it comes to keeping your Christmas tree alive longer.
- Check the stand at least twice a day for water levels as tree stands do not hold very much water.
- Check Location. A tree near a sunny window will dry out faster, so check your fresh tree often!
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Original Post: 11/28/18
Updated Post: 11/4/20