Christmas comes but once a year, so you’ll want to make the most of it. With just a little care, you can also make the most of your tree and keep it green and fresh-smelling throughout this special season.
- Pay attention to the tree stand. Make sure it’s big enough; a water basin that provides a quart of water per inch of stem diameter is a good rule. For most Christmas trees, the stand should hold at least a gallon of water. If you have to whittle down the sides of the trunk to fit it in the stand, you should just get a bigger stand. The outer layers of wood are the most efficient in taking up water.
- When are you going to set up your tree? If it will be a couple of days after you bring it home, place the trunk of the tree into a pail of water and keep it stored in a cool, protected area such as an unheated garage.
- Cut off a disk of wood ¼ inch thick from the bottom of the trunk before putting the tree in the stand. Set your tree up within 12 hours of making the fresh cut; if it will be longer than 12 hours, make another cut. Make the cut perpendicular to the stem axis.
- When setting up your tree, take care to position it away from direct heat sources, such as fireplaces, heaters, heat vents, and direct sunlight.
- Check the water in the tree stand daily. The temperature of the water is not important—just the level. Make sure the water level doesn’t dip below the base of the tree.
- Keeping the temperature in your home as low as is comfortable will help keep your tree from drying out.
- Don’t bother with additives in the water, such as commercial tree preservatives, sugar, soft drinks, or any other concoctions. Clean water is all you need.