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Caring For Christmas Trees

from: Henry Gallant

Christmas trees are a long time symbol of the Christmas season,
but improperly cared for Christmas trees are unlikely to make it
through the entire holiday season. Properly cared for fresh cut
Christmas trees, on the other hand, can last several weeks.

First and foremost, the key to long-lasting Christmas trees is
to give them plenty of water. Many people have developed
outlandish concoctions for Christmas trees, ranging from mixing
things such as bleach, sugar, syrup, 7-up or vodka in the water.
Research has shown, however, that plain water is the best bet
for caring for Christmas trees. Furthermore, the water doesn't
have to be distilled or bottled or fancy in any way. Tap water
is just fine.

To further ensure the longevity of Christmas trees, it is
helpful to make a fresh cut at the base of the trunk. This cut
should be straight and made about an inch from the end of the
trunk and the tree should be placed in water quickly. This cut
helps Christmas trees better absorb water from within the tree

If the tree is not to be put up right away, it is still a good
idea to cut the trunk of the tree and place it in a bucket of
water. The tree should then be stored in a shady, protected area
that is unheated. When the time comes to set the tree up, the
end of the tree should be cut once again to further aid in water

The type of tree stand used with Christmas trees is also
important in their ability to last. For most Christmas trees,
the water reservoir should hold at least gallon of water, but
the more water the better. Keep in mind that freshly cut
Christmas trees will absorb up to one full gallon of water, or
even more, in the first 24 hours after a new cut is made. They
will continue to absorb one or more quarts each day, depending
on the room temperature and the amount of lights and other
decorations on the tree.

Recognizing Christmas Trees that are drying out:

One of the surest signs that Christmas trees are beginning to
dry out is water absorption. For a tree that is drying out,
water use substantially slows down or stops altogether. The
needles of Christmas trees that are not watered regularly will
dry and fall off as the tree dries. In addition, the boughs will
droop and the tree will lose its fragrance. Trees kept near
TV's, fireplaces, air ducts, and radiators have a tendency to
dry more quickly.

It is also important to keep Christmas trees watered because a
dried sap seal will form over the end of them within four to 6
hours after the water drops below the base of the tree. This
makes it impossible for the trees to absorb water, even after
the reservoir is refilled. This problem can be remedied by
cutting the bottom of the tree once again, but this is difficult
to do with a tree that has already been decorated.

About the author:

TreesAlive is an information site dedicated to trees. Check out
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