The following are a few tips on how to keep your "Real" tree fresh throughout the holiday season.
- If you are not putting the tree up right away store it in an unheated garage or some other area out of the wind and cold (freezing) temperatures. Make a fresh one inch cut on the butt end and place the tree in a bucket of warm water.
- When you decide to bring the tree indoors, make another fresh one inch cut and place the tree in a sturdy stand that holds at least one gallon of water, or a rule of thumb is one quart of water for every inch of diameter of the trunk.
- Be sure to keep the water level about the base of the tree. If the base dries out resin will form over the cut end and the tree will not be able to absorb water and will dry out quickly. Commercially prepared mixes; aspirin; sugar and other additives added to the water are not necessary. Research has shown that plain water will keep a tree fresh.
- Check all Christmas tree lights for worn electrical cords. Use UL approved electrical decorations and cords. Unplug tree lights at night.
- Miniature lights produce less heat and reduce the drying effect on the tree.
- It’s a nuisance to water a Christmas tree once it’s decorated with a tree skirt and surrounded by presents. Here’s an easy solution, supplied by Gene and Marian Anderson of Guse Hardware in Minneapolis: Buy a funnel and a 3 to 4 foot length of vinyl tubing to slip over the funnel outlet. Fasten the funnel/tube with a twist-tie or twine in an out-of-the-way but reachable part of the tree. Extend the tubing down the tree trunk and into the tree stand reservoir. Now you can water the tree through the funnel without bending over or disturbing the tree skirt or its ornaments. (Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune)
- Take down the tree before it dries out. Many fresh cut trees if properly cared for will last at least five weeks before drying out.
- Recycle your tree after Christmas. Many communities will pick up trees and turn them into chips. You might put the tree in your back yard and place bread and suet among the branches for the birds.