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» Choosing a Live Christmas Tree

How Did I Do It? > Holidays & Celebrations > Choosing a Live Christmas Tree
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There is nothing quite so special as a fresh evergreen for the holidays. The smell of pine that wafts through the house gives everything that aroma of Christmas. For frugal or green households there are a lot of things you can do with pine needles and wood after the holidays so there’s no waste (like making incense or pot pourri). However, before buying a tree it’s good to know a few things.

Always check your tree for freshness. The closer a tree is harvested, the fresher it’s going to be. If there are a lot of brown needles or if small branches break easily the tree is already beginning to dry.

Additionally, different trees are known for having different qualities. For example, Norway Spruce won’t hold its needles a long time so only use these for short duration decorating. Scotch pine is a better choice for longevity. Frazier Furs are a very popular tree because they have plenty of space for ornaments, hold their needles, and give off a great aroma.

Once you’ve chosen a tree, leave it in a cold environment until you’re ready to introduce it to the house. If you can make slow transitions (from yard to an enclosed porch, then into the house) that’s best. Take a fresh slice from the bottom of the tree just prior to introducing it to water. You may also want to use an anti-wilt product as these protect the trees from dryness caused by heating.

Put the tree in an accessible and sturdy container, adjusting the stand supports until they just touch the tree. After this, give each one a clockwise twist all around the base in succession to get even support.

Give your tree water and let it begin to rest. You don’t want to decorate it for at least 48 hours as it will take that long for branches to move into natural positions and adjust to the temperature of your home. Throughout this time, watch water levels. The tree should be taking water.

If it’s not, you may want to return it and explain the problem. If it’s not drinking it won’t last very long. Note that you don’t have to add anything to the water. Realistically a properly watered tree lasts just as long as one treated with aspirin or other commercial items.

Finally, once the tree begins to dry and shed needles its best to take it down for safety sake.

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