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Preserving Your Tree

Preserving Your Tree

Once you get your Christmas tree home from the farm you’ll want to treat it well.  Keep it cool and in a protected area with the trunk in water until you are ready to bring it indoors and decorate it.

Keeping the tree in an unheated porch, garage or shed works great.  Use a container that is clean and hasn’t had any chemical or solvent in it for the water basin.  

It’s a good idea to make a fresh cut on the trunk about an inch from the original cut once you get it home because even after harvesting the tree will try to take in water.  Keep the water level well above the cut.  Do NOT remove outer layers of the tree’s trunk as these are the most efficient at taking in water.

If you let the water level drop below the fresh cut a seal will form and a new cut will be needed.  When this happens there may be pitch that clogs the tree’s conduction tissues, so you may want to use warm/hot water the first time to try to dissolve the pitch.

Before you bring it the home It’s a good idea to once again shake or clear the loose needles from the branches.  Then once again, make another fresh cut straight across the trunk about 1/2 inch up from the base.  Don’t cut the tree at an angle or into a v-shape as this will make the tree harder to hold the tree in its stand and will actually reduce the amount of water getting in the tree.

When choosing your location in the home to show off the tree keep it away from all heat sources and large electronic devices.  Even the heat coming off of a TV or stereo can contribute greatly to a tree drying out.  Using lights with a low amount of heat will also help reduce the drying of the tree.  And always turn out the lights on the tree when you are going to bed or when you will be away from home.

Once setup inside the home, keep the tree in a stand that can hold a gallon of water or more.  Measuring the diameter of your tree trunk can give a rough idea of how many quarts of water your tree stand should be able to hold.  If the trunk is 6 inches across then you should be aiming for a tree stand that can hold 6 quarts of water.

Keep an eye on the water level in the stand and don’t let the tree dry out or you’ll need to make another cut, which I can guarantee will be extremely difficult to do once the tree is indoors and decorated.  The first day the tree will ingest the most water and will typically take in less each subsequent day.

How Tall Should My Tree Be?

How Tall Should My Tree Be?

Simple answer, shorter than your ceiling.

Seriously, start by measuring the room’s height that you are putting the tree into. Then make sure that there are no overhead or nearby obstructions like lamps or fans. That is your rough working space. Next, consider the height of your tree stand and any decorations that you are planning on putting on top of the tree.

Practically speaking, how many feet of lighting do you actually have to work with? It would look awfully silly to have a tree 9 feet tall with only enough lights to cover half of it.

I think you probably need some room for the lights to bounce gently off the walls and ceiling to create a subtle indirect lighting effect. Give the top of the tree at least a foot or two from the ceiling to accomplish this.

NOTE: I’m not a professional Christmas tree designer, so, do what makes sense to you. If you do have ideas or tips that you would like to share, please hit the “Contact Us” menu item and let me know.


Christmas Tree Trivia

Christmas Tree Trivia

From: The Iowa Christmas Tree Growers Association

  • Real Christmas trees are an all-American product, grown in all 50 states, including Alaska and Hawaii. Most artificial trees are manufactured in Korea, Taiwan, or Hong Kong.
  • Real trees are a renewable, recyclable resource. Artificial trees contain non-biodegradable plastics and metals.
  • For every real Christmas tree harvested, 2 to 3 seedlings are planted in its place.
  • There are about 1 million acres in production for growing Christmas trees. Each acre provides the daily oxygen requirements of 18 people.
  • There are about 15,000 Christmas tree growers in the U.S., and over 100,000 people employed full or part time in the industry.
  • There are approximately 100 choose and harvest farms in the state of Iowa.
  • It can take as many as 15 years to grow a tree of average retail sale height (6 feet), but the average growing time is 7 years.
  • Christmas trees can be used as mulch for gardens, parks or in animal stalls.
  • Some communities use Christmas trees to make effective sand and soil erosion barriers, especially at beaches and on river beds.
  • Sunk into private fish ponds, trees make excellent refuge and feeding area for fish.
  • Before recycling, Christmas trees can be used to make bird feeders, adding color and excitement to the winter garden. Utilize orange slices, suet, and seed to attract the birds. They will come for the food and stay for the shelter in the branches.

Important – Never burn your Christmas tree in a fireplace or wood stove. Burning the tree may contribute to creosote buildup.

A&A Christmas Trees is a proud member of the Iowa Christmas Tree Growers Association.