Tree Care Tips
With the proper care, the perfect tree you have selected will stay green and healthy throughout the holidays, minimizing clean-up and maximizing the joy of your holiday. Here are a few tips:
- Make a fresh cut on the bottom of the tree to open up the pores, which have been clogged by sap. Cut off at least one-half inch. If you do not make a fresh cut, the tree will not be able to drink water. Make the cut perpendicular to the stem axis. Don't cut the trunk at an angle, or into a v-shape, which makes it far more difficult to hold the tree in the stand and also reduces the amount of water available to the tree.
- After the cut is made, put the tree in water as soon as possible. The longer the time between when the tree is given a fresh cut and when it is put into water, the less ability the tree has to absorb water. Most species can go 6 to 8 hours after cutting the trunk and still take up water. Don't bruise the cut surface or get it dirty.
- Displaying trees in water in a traditional reservoir type stand is the most effective way of maintaining their freshness and minimizing needle loss problems.
- Rinse water reservoir of the tree stand with a mixture of one capful of bleach and one cup of water before inserting the tree. This reduces the growth of micro-organisms that can block the tree's ability to absorb water. Be careful to avoid spilling or splashing the bleach on carpeting, etc.
- If needed, trees can be temporarily stored for several days in a cool location. Place the freshly cut trunk in a bucket that is kept full of water.
- To display the trees indoors, use a stand with an adequate water holding capacity for the tree. As a general rule, stands should provide 1 quart of water per inch of stem diameter. Place the tree in a sturdy stand, which will hold at least one gallon of water. Fill with plain water. You can also add tree fresh additive to help maintain the freshness of your tree through the Christmas season.
- If the tree is not going into the house soon after purchase, it should be stored in a bucket of warm water on a cool porch or patio away from wind and sun in warm climates, and protected from freezing temperatures and wind in cold climates.
- An average tree may consume between one quart and one gallon of water per day. If the water level drops below the cut end of the trunk, a seal will form and no more water will be absorbed by the tree unless another fresh cut is made. So don't forget to add water every day. Check the stand daily to make sure that the level of water does not go below the base of the tree. With many stands, there can still be water in the stand even though the base of the tree is no longer submerged in water.
- Use a stand that fits your tree. Avoid whittling the sides of the trunk down to fit a stand. The outer layers of wood are the most efficient in taking up water and should not be removed.
- Keep displayed trees away from sources of heat (fireplaces, heaters, heat vents, direct sunlight). Lowering the room temperature will slow the drying process, resulting in less water consumption each day.
- The temperature of the water used to fill the stand is not important and does not affect water uptake.
- Drilling a hole in the base of the trunk does not improve water uptake.
- Use of lights that produce low heat, such as miniature lights, will reduce drying of the tree.
- Always inspect light sets prior to placing them on the tree. If worn, replace with a new set.
- Do not overload electrical circuits.