Simple Tips for Real Christmas Tree Care

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The Wisconsin Christmas Tree Producers Association offers tips to maintain real Christmas trees throughout the holiday season.

Real Christmas trees are a wonderful way to celebrate the holidays, filling the home with a fresh evergreen scent and unmatched appearance. To maintain your tree throughout the season, follow these simple tips for proper care.

Stand Strong – Traditional reservoir-type stands are the most effective way to maintain tree freshness and minimize needle loss. As a general rule, stands should provide 1 quart of water per inch of stem diameter.

Fresh Cut – If the tree has been cut within the past 12 hours, it is not necessary to recut the trunk. If it has been more than 12 hours since harvest, remove a 1/4-inch disk of wood from the base of the trunk before placing the tree in the stand. Don’t cut the trunk at an angle or into a V-shape, which can make it far more difficult to hold in a stand and reduce the amount of water available to the tree. Avoid whittling the sides of the trunk to fit a stand. The outer layers of wood are the most efficient at taking up water and should not be removed. Drilling a hole in the base of the trunk does not improve water uptake.

Water, Water – Once home, place the tree in water as soon as possible. Don't bruise the cut surface of the trunk or get it dirty. Do not use additives in the water. Clean water is all that is needed to maintain freshness. Check the stand daily to make sure the water level does not go below the base of the tree.

Temperature Control – Keep trees away from heat sources (fireplaces, heaters, heat vents, direct sunlight). Lowering the room temperature will slow the drying process, resulting in less water consumption. The temperature of the water used to fill the stand is not important and does not affect water uptake.

Light Use – Choose lights that produce low or no heat, such as miniature or LED lights, to reduce drying of the tree. Always inspect light sets prior to placing them on the tree. If worn, replace with a new set. Do not overload electrical circuits and always turn off tree lights when leaving the house or going to bed.

The Wisconsin Christmas Tree Producers Association is an association of Christmas tree growers and related industry people who are dedicated to producing environmentally friendly, farm grown Christmas trees and wreaths. Real Christmas trees are the clear eco-friendly choice. Christmas trees are a renewable, seasonal product grown right here in Wisconsin.

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