How to care for your Christmas Tree
Christmas is fast approaching and in preparation VR Gardens has created some great tips on how to look after a Christmas tree. It’s important to know how to appropriately choose, care and reuse your tree so it can last as long as possible. Read on to learn the best tips for having a healthy tree throughout the festive season.
Buying a Christmas Tree
When choosing your Christmas tree the aim is to get one as healthy as possible. Here are some things to look out for to make sure you are getting the freshest tree possible.
Examine the ground around the trees for needles. If you see lots of needles on the ground this can be a sign to move on and shop elsewhere.
Needles can help you determine a tree’s freshness, all you have to do is run your hands through the branches. The needles should be flexible, not dry and brittle, and remain on the tree if it is fresh.
Look out for the colour of needles. Any trees with dead or browning needles should be avoided as they are already past their prime.
Remember the goal here is to get the healthiest tree as the fresher the tree the longer it will last in your living room.
Making Space in Your Home
When you have brought your healthy, fresh tree home, you now need to decide where the most appropriate place for it will be, to ensure it gets the best care.
The best location for a tree is away from any open flames, heaters or direct sunlight. Open flames can be a fire hazard, but all of these heat emitters can actually dry out your tree prematurely.
Lowering the room temperature will slow the drying process, resulting in less water consumption each day.
Corners can be a great location to house your new tree as it keeps them away from accidental bumps.
When you bring your tree home, make sure you saw a couple inches off the bottom of the trunk before setting it in water. When trees are cut, pitch oozes out and seals the pores. As a result of sawing off the base, you will open up the pores, and the tree will be able to absorb water.
If you’re looking forward to decorating your tree in lights, remember to place it close to sockets. If this isn't possible in your home, use an extension cord and run it alongside the wall to avoid any potential hazardous trips.
Cover the floor around your Christmas tree. By covering the floor you can protect against water splashes and collect fallen needles easily. There are tree skirts available to purchase, but there’s nothing to stop you making your own by using things like Christmas paper or fabrics to keep the Christmas theme and save your budget.
Another good yet simple tip is to have a skirt that goes over the cradle to prevent pets from drinking the water in the base.
Make sure your Christmas tree is straight by enlisting the help of family members. One can hold it stable whilst the other fix the base. If you can’t seem to get it perfectly straight don’t worry, the tree may need to sit for an hour or so to settle into its shape.
Decorating the Tree Safely
After all your smart purchasing and tree preparation you can finally get to the fun part; decorating the tree. Different families have different styles but these decorating tips apply to everyone as safety is key when decorating.
During the dreaded untangling process, take time to check each string of lights to ensure the bulbs are in correct working order. The cords should not be frayed or gnawed at by pets. Additionally, the connections should be checked to make sure they are secure.
Replace any lights that are worn out with a new set. When looking for a new set you should buy lights that produce low heat as it will help to reduce the drying of the tree.
As beautiful as Christmas tree lights are, do not overload electrical circuits. Another important safety tip is to remember to turn the lights off when leaving the house or going to bed.
You should organise your decorations so that any ornaments that are breakable, have small detachable parts or look like food, together. These ornaments should be placed on higher branches out of reach of children and pets. This can prevent accidental breakage or ingestion.
Another way to ensure the safety of your most fragile ornaments is to hang them using green floral wire twisted firmly around branches.
Keep your pets out of the room with the tree if you’re not there to supervise. Pets can knock over the tree, gnaw on the lights and break ornaments. The best thing is to keep them away from any potential disasters.
4 Key Steps On How To Look After a Christmas Tree With Roots
After putting in all the work you should now have a beautifully decorated, safe, Christmas tree. Your job isn't quite done yet. Caring properly for your Christmas tree can prolong its life and make sure you get the best out of all your hard work. VR Gardens recommends following these steps.
Watering is the most important tip to remember. A well-watered tree will maintain freshness and minimise needle loss problems. It will also be less dry and therefore, less combustible.
You should fill the tree stand with water and keep it filled. You will need to add water to it almost everyday. To know how often your tree needs water, examine the water levels and keep it above the tree’s base.
Keep on top of fallen pine needles by collecting them daily with a dustpan and brush. This will save you a major clean-up job when it comes time to get rid of the tree.
Check for sap leakages occasionally. Sap may leak from the tree and the sooner you catch it the easier it is to remove sap and prevent damage to any nearby furnishings.
Reusing The Christmas Tree After The Holidays
There are so many creative things you can do with your tree once the Christmas season has passed. Here are a few ideas of how to reuse your Christmas tree.
Place your tree near your bird feeder. It can act as a staging area for small birds and encourage their presence in your garden. You can even string bird-friendly goodies along the tree to better your chances of seeing some flying friends. If you are new to bird feeding check out our blog on bird feeding tips for beginners to get started HERE.
Dispose of your tree as garden waste. You can chip it into garden mulch or even just use the branches and pine needles for garden mulch. If you want to create mulch from the decaying autumn leaves, have a read of this blog on autumn leaves ideas HERE.
Sew scraps of fabric together and fill them with the needles to make fragrant balsam sachets to freshen drawers and closets.
Never burn a tree in a fire place or wood stove. Pine trees have a lot of sap which can flash and create a chimney fire.
With good care, a Christmas tree can easily stay fresh for a month or even longer. By sticking to these tips you can enjoy a healthy tree each year.
Watch this video to help you choose the perfect Christmas Tree...