6833 Whitneyville Ave SE, Alto MI 49302 * (616) 868-6676 * CountryHarvestGreenhouse.com

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Caring for a Fresh Christmas Tree from Country Harvest Greenhouse

Here are a few tips to keep your Fresh Christmas Tree looking it's best.  Plus, important safety reminders.

CARE TIPS


Starting out right
- Removing about 1/2 inch from the base of the trunk before putting the tree in the stand will allow the best water absorption.
- Don't cut the trunk at an angle or into a v-shape, it won't help with water absorption and may your tree less stable in the stand.  
- Don't remove the bark at the base - that absorbs the most water!

Your tree needs plenty of water!
- Get your tree in water as soon as possible.  
- Using a stand with a reservoir base is the best way to maintain freshness. Stands should provide about 1 quart of water per inch of stem diameter. 
- Your tree can absorb up to 1 gallon of water the first day home!
- Check every day or every other day to ensure the tree has water.  Never let the water level get below the tree trunk bottom.
- Some people put an aspirin in the water to help keep it fresh. Some also add lemon-lime soda. (Just don't spill on those gifts!)
- A well-watered tree will lose fewer needles but all fresh trees will lose some needles.

Maintenance
- Check for sap seepage - the sooner you clean it up the easier it will be.
- Keep away from heat sources.  Lowering the room temperature will slow the drying process, resulting in - less water consumption each day.
- Use of lights that produce low heat, such as miniature lights, will reduce drying of the tree.

Disposal
- At the end of the season, you can take advantage of one of the many tree drop-off locations in the area -- or put it in your garden.  When spring comes, you can chip it into compost or nutrition for your garden.


SAFETY TIPS
*Printable fire-safety sheet from the National Fire Protection Assocation* 

- Make sure you don't block and exit when placing the tree.
- Place breakable ornaments high out of reach of children and pets.
- Keep the tree at least 3 feet away from open flames or heat sources (fireplaces, heaters, heat vents, candles), which may dry it out prematurely and pose a hazard. Trees do sometimes catch on fire - and when they do they go fast - so be very careful!
- Inspect your light sets. Make sure they are not frayed or bitten by pets, and that the connections are secure.
- Do not overload electrical circuits.  Connect no more than three strands of mini string sets and a maximum of 50 bulbs for screw-in bulbs. Read manufacturer’s instructions for number of LED strands to connect.
- Always turn off the tree lights when leaving the house or when going to bed.
- Monitor the tree for freshness. After Christmas or if the tree is dry, remove it from the house.
- Dried-out trees are a fire danger and should not be left in the home or garage, or placed outside against the home.
- Never burn any part of a Christmas tree in a wood stove or fireplace!

Sources:
National Fire Protection Association, National Christmas Tree Association, Wikihow