Choosing Your Christmas Tree
A natural Christmas tree can be a beautiful part of your family’s Christmas tradition and one that is generally passed down from one generation to the next. First of all, there is the tree selection process from a Christmas tree farm where you choose and cut that perfect tree or simply select one the farmer has freshly cut. Many farms have other activities for children such as hay rides, bonfires, hot dogs, hot chocolate and photo opportunities. Most farmers will happily explain the attributes of the various Christmas tree species to assist you in your selection process.
Christmas Tree Care
When you have transported your tree home, it is advisable to leave the tree outside or in a garage overnight if possible. Trees grown on a farm support a variety of wildlife that may think spring has arrived when placed in a warm room. Before you place your tree in a stand, cut a couple of centimeters off of the base of the tree or have the farmer make a fresh cut for you. Generally, 2 or 3 hours after a fresh cut sap will seal the wound and not allow the tree to absorb water. You may wish to place a tree bag under the stand before you set up your tree, which will allow you to easily remove the tree after Christmas and contain most of the needles in the bag.
The tree stand should be large enough to hold a few litres of water which must be checked daily. During the initial week your tree will drink a lot of water with larger trees absorbing more water than smaller ones. After the initial week, water consumption will decline, however it is still important to ensure the stand is kept full of water at all times. Generally, a freshly cut Christmas tree will retain its needles for up to six weeks providing a fresh cut was made before set up and the water level in the stand maintained. There are many additives professing to increase Christmas tree longevity, however fresh water added daily is generally all that is required.
Christmas Tree Safety
Before the invention of strings of electric lights, candles were placed on Christmas tree branches and lighted for short periods of time. One can imagine how many fires were started by this practice which fortunately is not in use today. Today’s LED lights are low wattage and do not produce heat which has made decorating the Christmas tree much safer. Older incandescent strings should be recycled as new LED lights also use less energy. All trees will eventually dry out so it is advisable to remove the tree from your home and recycle as soon as the festive season is over.