Having a live Christmas tree (well, as live as can be when the connection to the natural world is severed) is a great way to add a special touch to you and your family’s holiday celebrations. Sure there’s something to be said about the reusability of the plastic tree from your favorite big box realtor, but there’s something to be said for bringing a typically outdoor plant into the home. Is it the breaking of the indoor/outdoor barrier? Or is it just the general magic of plant parenting as many a millennial has had come to enjoy during the pandemic? Or maybe it’s the tradition of it all? Whatever your reason, the bigger question on your mind is how to keep the magic lasting for as long as possible? Per usual, we are ready with our tips. Follow our lead and you’ll be sure to have a lively looking tree for a while…or at least until New Year’s.
WHEN TO PURCHASE: You’re going to need to do a little bit of math, or at least some schedule consideration, before you purchase a tree. Now, a freshly cut tree will last about 4 weeks if you take care of it. If you want the guarantee of it lasting through Christmas, it’s best to buy around 1-2 weeks after Thanksgiving. The question is how soon after Christmas do you want to dispose of the tree. Do you want to do it a day or two after Christmas? After New Year’s? If you want it to last to the New Year, you’re probably looking around 2-3 weeks after Thanksgiving. But keep in mind that the longer you do wait and the closer it gets to Christmas, your options may become limited.
WHERE TO PUT IT: If you are not putting your tree up straight away, the ideal place to store it is in a place where it can be protected from the elements–such as a garage. Be sure to keep the trunk in a bucket of water to prevent dryness and blockage from descending sap over the roots, which can occur in just a matter of hours if not watered. If the tree is going straight to the living room, den, or whichever room you have chosen, be sure to have a cleared-out space ready, and one that is a safe distance from heating sources. Additionally, be sure to put a tarp underneath the tree stand you will be using.
HOW (AND WHY) TO MAINTAIN: Your tree will need water constantly. The stand in which you put your tree should at minimum be able to hold a gallon of water, otherwise we suggest replacing the stand. You will likely need to be adding water to the base daily. Additionally, make sure that at least the bottom two inches of the trunk are submerged. Again, this will prevent blockage. A reason why it is important for you to keep the tree water is not only because the dryness will cause the greenery to darken and die off, but because dried out trees are serious fire hazards. On average, 160 house fires every year are caused by Christmas trees and all it takes is 30 seconds for a tree fire to engulf a single living room.