There is nothing like having a real tree to decorate for Christmas. It brings a fresh pine smell to your home, making the season more festive. Whether you choose to cut your own tree or select one that has already been cut, a real tree brings extra charm and warmth to your holiday decorations.
How Long Will My Real Christmas Tree Last?
When you decide to get a real tree for your holiday decorations, there are some essential tips to keep in mind. First, you can expect a healthy and freshly cut tree to last four to five weeks. It is necessary for you to care for your tree correctly to get the most life out of it. It is possible to get another week or so out of your tree if you take excellent care of your tree. Even so, you may want to consider not bringing your tree until at least early December. Many people like to decorate early for Christmas, but a real tree should be your final touch.
What to Look For in a Real Tree
You want to make sure you select a healthy tree. The best way to get a fresh tree is to choose one from a local tree farm. You want a tree with healthy green needles and the least amount of brown needles. You want a tree that is sitting in the shade and away from the sun. You want to rub your hands over some branches. The needles should not fall off when you touch them. You should try to lift the tree a few inches off the ground and then drop it. Only a small amount of needles should fall off the tree. You want a tree that has a fragrant scent to it. You want to look at the bark of the tree, and it should be smooth and not wrinkled.
There are some species of tree that are best for use as a Christmas tree in your home. Most trees will last about a month, but some superior trees have better needle retention and will last longer. These trees include Fraser Fir, Concolor Fir, Canaan Fir, and White Pine.
How to Store a Real Tree Safely
You want to be gentle with your tree and have it wrapped to protect the delicate branches. If your tree is not already wrapped, you should wrap it in a blanket. If you put the tree on your roof, you want to make sure the trunk is at the front of your car. This helps keep the needles from blowing off the tree. If you plan to store the tree outside before bringing it into the house, make sure you stand it up in a bucket full of water.
How to Care For Your Real Tree
Once your tree is cut, it begins to wilt and lose color. This is why it is essential to care for your tree correctly.
This is also the time when your tree takes in the most water. For this reason, you want to water your tree every day for the first two weeks after you bring it home. Real trees need one quart of water for every diameter of the trunk. For example, if your tree has a four inch diameter trunk, it needs four quarts of water each day. If you do not give it enough water, resin forms on the tree, which prevents its absorption of water. A lack of water causes your tree to dry up. You should check the water level every day. You want the water to cover the end of the tree trunk.
You want to keep your tree away from heat sources. Even though you may want to place your tree next to a fireplace or wood stove because of the beauty, it is not a good idea. When you have your tree next to a heat source, it can cause your tree to dry out faster. If your house is dry, you may want to use a humidifier. You can also consider lowering the temperature in your home, so it is not hot inside and causes your tree to dry out.
Trim the Tree
If you choose to cut your own tree, make sure you cut between a half inch and one inch from the bottom of the trunk. If you make the cut even, it makes it easy to fit it into a tree stand. You may need to drill a hole in the tree trunk to center it in the tree stand. However, you do not need to drill a hole so the tree can take in the water.
If you choose a tree that has been cut down for you, you want to make sure the cut is straight across the entire base of the tree. When the tree is cut evenly, it helps to remove any reason that has been dried over the trunk. When there is resin dried over the bottom of the trunk, it prevents the tree from taking in water. When you get your tree home, you want to store it in a bucket of water outside for a few days. Before you bring the tree inside, you want to make one more cut into the tree that is about one inch from the bottom of the truck.
What to Do With Your Real Christmas Tree
When you are finished with your tree as a Christmas decoration, there are some great ways to use your tree after it has lived out its life as a decoration in your home. First, you can leave it in your backyard to provide shelter for the animals. There are chipmunks, squirrels, and birds leaving in or visiting your backyard. These animals can benefit from the additional shelter. Second, you can lean your Christmas tree up against your fence or another tree. You want to make sure you place in an area far away from your house. You do not want the animals to attempt to get into your home.
You can use your old Christmas tree as mulch around your house. In addition, you can use the tree for mulch in your garden to help keep your perennials warm when it gets cold. All you have to do is clip small tree branches and lay the branches around the top soil of your plants. This helps to keep the roots warm. Using the tree as mulch can also help the plants retain water. Another way to use the tree as mulch is to take a branch and shake it over the soil, so the needles fall off on the soil. If the needles do not come off easily, let the tree sit for another day without water. This allows it to dry out, even more, so the needles will fall off easier.
If neither of those options sounds like something you want to do, you can recycle your Christmas tree. Most counties have a service that will pick up your tree to recycle or dispose of the tree. However, you want to make sure you take down your tree before it completely dries out. If you wait too long, you will have pine needles all over your floor.