With so much uncertainty in the world right now, more and more people are choosing to pull out the Christmas decorations early. Putting up the tree, taking time to decorate it with meaningful ornaments, and seeing it all lit up can put some joy back into what’s been a really difficult year! If you’re thinking that this might be the Christmas you finally go for a live tree, we’re here to help you get the most out of it. Let’s take a look at the best Christmas tree care & removal tips!
It should come as no surprise that the most important part of making your live Christmas tree last longer is by keeping it hydrated with regular watering. Depending on who you ask, you may hear all sorts of old wives tales about adding certain substances to the base of your tree to preserve it for longer, including sugar, glycerin, 7-up, and even bleach. But none of these have been proven to help the longevity of a tree that’s been cut, and in some cases, they may actually shorten the tree’s life span! Stick the following time-tested tips instead.
- Make sure you always have plenty of clean water in the reservoir. Remember that these trees have been cut, and as such, require a certain amount of water to ensure the trunk doesn’t seal over with sap.
- Since sap can seal over a cut trunk quite quickly, you should cut at least half an inch off the bottom of the trunk right before you place the tree in the stand. If you aren’t able to do this at home, the lot can do it for you before you leave.
- Refill the water in the reservoir daily.
- Keep your Christmas tree away from heat sources like vents and fireplaces. This can cause the tree to dry out and drop needles faster.
- Ensure your tree stays upright. If you aren’t able to achieve this using just the stand, you can try anchoring it to the closest wall or ceiling using small hooks and fishing line. This will help provide some extra stability.
How to deal with dropped tree needles
The longer you have your tree up, the more needles it will drop. This happens naturally as the tree gets older and begins to dry out. Dealing with dropped needles is a regular occurrence with live trees, so you should have a plan in place to deal with them. Start with sweeping up as many needles as you can, as most aren’t good for your vacuum. You can then use your vacuum to get what you can’t reach.
Once the holidays are over and you begin taking your tree down, you’re doing to encounter the worst of your needles. It will be old and dry then, and prone to shedding more easily. To minimize this big clean-up job, you have a couple of options!
The first is a disposable Christmas tree bag. This is a bit like a giant garbage bag that is put down before any decorating is done, then pulled up around the tree once the holidays are over to help you haul it out of your house without making a huge mess! If you choose to go with a disposable bag, just make sure you pick one that is large enough to fit around your whole tree. Look for one that is thick as well, so it won’t rip and tear as you try to move the tree.
The other option is to use a sheet. Siphon any remaining water out of the reservoir using a baster, then spread a sheet on the floor, remove the tree from the stand, and lay it down on top of your sheet. At this point, you should be able to loosely wrap the tree in the sheet, lift it, and carry it outside with only a small amount of needles dropping. When you get the tree to the desired location, just roll the tree off the sheet, and voilà! You’re all done!
Disposing of your tree responsibly
Unfortunately, you can’t just put a live tree back in a box like you can an artificial one. You’ll need to explore what disposable options are available to you based on your location! Before you begin taking your tree down, check with your community to find out when there will be pick-up days for disposed Christmas trees. Your local waste management company is likely to announce dates for this, so follow them on social media or check their website so you’ll know the pick-up dates well in advance. You can also take your tree to a landfill yourself in order to recycle it.
Have a happy holiday season!
Having the right Christmas tree can make your holiday even more joyful, especially when you have a plan in place to care for and properly dispose of it. Following the tips above will help you enjoy a fresh tree for longer and keep needle droppings to a minimum. From the Red’s Tree Service family to yours, have a happy holiday season!