“Fir” sure, there’s nothing better than the holly jolly smell of a Christmas tree to “spruce” up your home during the holidays! But how long do Christmas trees last… and how can you make your tree last longer?
A freshly cut tree typically lasts for a month, but it really depends on two things – how you select your tree and how you care for it.
To help out, we’ve rounded up some helpful tips on how to make your Christmas tree last longer this holiday season!
Picking Out the Perfect Christmas Tree
A long-lasting Christmas tree begins with picking out the right one. Whether you’re a fan of the fully dressed fir or the quirky Charlie Brown Christmas tree, keep these tips in mind when you head to your local tree farm or lot.
Test the Branches
According to the National Christmas Tree Association, branches should be pliable and needles should not break off easily. If you end up with handful of needles after running your fingers through the branches, this means the tree is drying out and deteriorating. If you’re purchasing a pre-cut tree at a lot, be sure to ask when it was harvested so you have a better idea of how much life is left in it.
Measure Your Christmas Tree Stand
This might seem obvious, but it’s really important … make sure the Christmas tree you select will fit not only in your house, but also in your tree stand. Before you head to the tree farm or lot, measure your tree stand as well as your ceiling height, so you know what size tree to get. The last thing you want to do is cut the outer layers of wood around the base of the tree to make it fit your stand, as these layers are crucial for water absorption.
How to Make Your Christmas Tree Last Longer
Now that you’ve got the tree in your house, it’s time to make sure it lasts until Christmas morning (at the very least)! Help keep your perfectly-picked Christmas tree fresh throughout the holiday season with these three simple steps:
A Word About Watering
Check water levels regularly and replenish as needed. Make a fresh batch of the nutrient-rich and bacteria-busting solution for each application.
Step 1: Cut at least ½ inch off the bottom of the tree. This “fresh cut” is especially important if it’s been more than a few hours since the tree was cut down. If you’re buying a pre-cut tree from a lot, workers there should be able to do this for you.
Step 2: Mix a nutrient-rich and bacteria-busting solution, which requires a few household items … as well as a couple of less-common items that can help you keep your plants healthy year-round! Combine 2 tablespoons of chelated iron (available from many large retailers, including online) and 1 cup of corn syrup in a gallon-sized container or bucket. Next, add 8 cups of hot water and 1½ teaspoons of bleach, and stir to mix all the ingredients. If necessary, transfer the solution to a container that will be easy to pour into the tree stand to help avoid spills.
Step 3: Once the tree is in place, add the solution into the tree stand. Make sure to lay out an old towel to catch any drips or spills during the process.
Christmas Tree Safety Tips
In addition to making sure your Christmas tree lasts, it’s just as important to keep your family safe this holiday season.
- When setting up your Christmas tree, avoid placing it near any heat sources – fireplaces, candles, radiators … you get the idea. Not only will this help reduce the risk of fire, it will also help keep your tree from drying out.
- Let your little helpers decorate the tree with non-breakable ornaments – if you have glass or ceramic ornaments, hang them near the top of the tree, out of reach of curious children and pets. We don’t want any boo-boos from contact with broken ornaments!
- Before leaving home or going to bed, turn off any decorative lights on the tree and around the house. Don’t worry … Santa will be able to see just fine when he drops off this year’s gifts!