December 12, 2010
So, we asked the experts: What are the best ways to care for your Christmas tree?
The first thing to consider is where you are going to store it when you get home.
“You want to put the tree in a location where the boughs will be able to come down,” says Brianna Basiles, merchandising, promotions and media relations with Home Depot.
Consider the weather when you’re storing your tree.
“Keep it tied up in nasty weather,” Basiles says. “If it is snowing or below 10 degrees, put a cover over it to protect it from the elements.
However, if it’s nice, make sure that the tree has water outside.”
Just before putting your tree up, you will want to make a fresh, clean cut on the trunk.
“Many places you purchase the tree will cut the trunk for you,” says John Duncan, greenhouse manager at Greengate Garden. “If you’re keeping outside for awhile, don’t cut it until you bring it in.”
Basiles advises to make sure the trunk has a flat edge flush to the ground, so that it will stand straight. When bringing it into the home, wear gloves and clothes you don’t mind getting sap on, she suggests.
As the tree opens in your home, you might have to prune it.
“ There might be broken branches that need to be trimmed and the top might have to be cut to fit the tree topper,” Basiles says. “Lower branches should also be trimmed so they’re not an eye hazard to kids and pets.”
Make sure the tree is always sitting in water.
“Fill up the water every day,” Duncan says. “You might have to do this even more, depending on the size of the trunk.
There are also products that you can buy to add to the water to help prolong the life of the tree — you put them in the water as you would with cut flowers.”
There are also some common sense safety issues to follow, as well.
“Make sure you don’t have to o many ele ctr ical cords plugged into one source and turn the tree off when you go to bed,” she says. “I also recommend making sure there’s supervision around the tree when kids are involved and that the expensive or breakable ornaments are hung near the top, out of reach.”
Be aware of your heat sources, too.
“Keep your tree away from the furnace duct to keep it from drying out,” Duncan says. “Also, keep it away from sources of heat or flame to avoid it going up in flames.”