When it comes to Christmas trees, there are three camps: artificial all the way; nothing beats real; and bah humbug. At Trust A Trader, most of us fall in the second group. Nothing quite beats a real Christmas tree and it doesn’t have to be bad for the environment. Choose a local tree farm, who will cut a crop this year and replant for the future, or buy a smaller, potted tree this year and reuse it until it needs to be planted out.
If, like us, Christmas just isn’t Christmas without a real tree, make sure that you get a good one. If you choose right in the first place, and water it enough, you may just be able to avoid the curse of the pine needles.
Choosing the tree – look, touch, smell.
When choosing a tree, you will be able to tell at first glance whether or not it is healthy; branches should be nice and perky, and full of needles. If a tree passes the “look” test, give a branch a little tug – if there is a shower of needles, move on, but if the tree sheds no needles, it is likely to be a good one. Smell is a good indicator of freshness, too; if a tree has been recently cut, it will smell of pine.
Trim the trunk
Once you have chosen your tree, ask for an inch to be taken off the trunk before you leave. If they can’t do it at the tree shop, saw off a bit yourself. This will give you a fresh base that will be able to absorb plenty of water.
Location, location, location
Where you place your tree is important, too. If the rom is too hot, the tree will wilt more quickly.
Building up a thirst
You’re not the only one that will build up a thirst this Christmas; your tree needs a surprising amount of water, too. Keeping your tree watered won’t only prevent needles from dropping and the tree from turning brown, but it could prevent fire, too. Dry trees can burn in seconds. To start with, make sure that you get a stand that holds plenty of water. The general recommendation is 2 pints of water per inch in diameter of the tree, so if the diameter of the tree is 4 inches, you will need 8 pints every few days. No need for additives or tree food – your tree will be happy with plenty of clean, fresh water, but just make sure that you top it up every day.
If you care for your tree properly, and if you chose a good one in the first instance, a fresh Christmas tree should last for around four weeks. If your tree was cut too early or if you keep your home tropically warm, the tree’s lifespan will be shortened.
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