Expert Tips and Ideas to Keep Your Christmas Tree Fresh
This just what you need to know if you want to have the perfect Christmas tree at home and to make sure that it will reach the new year still in a good condition.
December is here, meaning that Christmas is just around the corner, and, by now, probably most people in the country have already started with their Christmas decorations, which most important item is, arguably, the Christmas tree.
While there is always the option of getting an artificial and lasting Christmas tree, there is still a lot of people that prefer a natural pine tree to decorate with their loved ones at home for the holiday season.
For those that count themselves among the latter group, it is important to know a few tips and ideas to maintain one’s Christmas tree fresh for the entire Christmas season, with watering playing a big part of it.
But as important as water is for the Christmas tree, there are things to take into account from the moment one picks the tree, to make sure that one is getting a durable one.
It is important to buy the Christmas tree from a reputable nursery if one doesn’t have the possibility to cut one’s own, not only as a way to make sure that one is getting a freshly-cut tree, but also to support local agriculture.
Local farms will cut their trees, specifically grown for that purpose, the same day on which they are going to sell them, while other stores will have them cut weeks before putting them for sale.
READ THE TREE
If one notices too many of the pine’s needles lying on the floor around the trees at the Christmas tree shop, it is advisable to try to find another shop, since this is a sign that the trees are not fresh and are not going to last through the winter.
Another way to test the tree's freshness is to pull one’s hand along the branch: if the tree is in good condition, needles should not fall off when one does that. If it happens, go find a tree elsewhere.
TAKING GOOD CARE OF IT
Once one has arrived home with the perfect, freshly-cut Christmas tree, it is best to saw a couple of inches off the bottom of the trunk before putting it in water, to make sure that the pores are still open for better absorption.
A cut pine tree will need as much as a gallon of water every 24 hours, so one has to make sure that the tree stand is filled with water at all times, never allowing the water level to go below the tree’s base.
THE TREE’S AFTERLIFE
Once Christmas is over, there are different possible fates for the Christmas trees. Some people try to re-plant the tree if it reaches January still fresh, but there is only one right way to do this with success.
After being indoors during most of the winter, a pine tree needs a transitional period before being able to survive outdoors again. It is advised to let the tree sit in water in an in-between spot such as a garage for a few days before re-planting.
In other cases, such as with the Norfolk Island pine, the tree can survive in a pot and be kept as any other houseplant, with the possibility of just decorating it for Christmas again the next year.
A LITTLE HISTORY
The tradition of having a pine tree decorated at home for Christmas season is related to the ancient tradition, in Egypt and Rome, of using evergreens as symbols of eternal life and renewal.
The Christmas tree, like many other worldwide Christmas traditions, was adopted relatively late in the US because of the initial resistance of the New England Puritans, that considered them to be pagan and frivolous.