A well cared for evergreen tree can last for over a month in the right circumstances, but many of us see those dreaded brown needles almost as soon as we set it up in our homes. Never fear – these tips will keep your Tannenbaum looking lush throughout the holiday season.
Step 1: Choose Wisely
When selecting the perfect tree, you’ll want one that has as few brown spots as possible, and preferably one that has been situated shady areas rather than sunny ones. Don’t just look at the tree – touch it too! You want to test the branches by running your hand along the needs. The green needles should be pliable and not fall off easily at your touch.
Step 2: Cut the Trunk
Just as we snip the ends of flowers before we put them in a vase with water, the same principle applies to Christmas trees. You’ll want to saw a one-inch cut off the end of the trunk and then immediately place the tree in a bucket of warm water if you’re not putting it up right away. This fresh cut shears off any dried resin that could be block the tree from absorbing water.
Until you’re ready to bring the tree inside for decorating it’s best to store it in a cool (but not freezing) place that is protected from the elements. When you do bring it inside, make another one-inch cut off the trunk and place it in a sturdy stand that holds at least one gallon of water. Fill the stand with one quart of water for every inch of the trunk’s diameter.
Step 3: Keep it Cool
Chestnuts roasting by an open fire is lovely, but live trees should keep their distance from the fireplace and any heat source for that matter. Giving your tree some breathing room not only lengthens its indoor life, it also prevents any possible mishaps with your beautiful but very flammable evergreen.
Pro tip: House too dry? Use a small humidifier to keep your tree lusher for longer!
Step 4: Hydration is Key
If you only learn one thing from this list it should be this: Water, water, water! It’s important to keep your tree well hydrated because without proper moisture the trunk’s cut end develops a seal of resin which keeps it from taking in more water and increases the speed it dries out.
Bonus – Cleaning advice
All good things must come to an end and once your evergreen is passed its prime it’s time to send it on its way because it fills your living room with a sea of brown needles. We suggest removing the tree from the home immediately and before it has chance to dry out completely. A dry tree = more needles to clean up. Cleaning needles is best accomplished with a simple hose vacuum (no attachments – they only get in the way) and when all else fails you can put the kids to work sweeping them up. It’ll give them a head start to get on Santa’s “Nice” list for next year!