We all love the fresh pine scent of a Christmas tree over the holiday season. The problem is that your new Christmas tree can dry out, lose its charm and start shedding needles all over your living room if you don’t take care of it. Under normal circumstances, dry wood and electricity are a bad combination. So, there are safety considerations as well as aesthetic ones.
Here are some quick tips to help you keep your tree looking good for your whole family to appreciate as long as possible.
The Christmas tree take-home maintenance checklist
1. As soon as you get your tree into your house, you need to get to work. Have a reservoir stand ready to greet your tree into your home.
2. If it’s been more than a few hours since the tree was cut, you’re going to have to have to do some quick woodwork. Just like you would snip the bottom of the stem of cut flowers in a vase, you’ll need to cut about a half an inch off the base of the tree. Measure twice, cut once!
3. Now it’s time to give your pine-scented guest a beverage. Nothing fancy – just fill up that reservoir with plain old tap water.
Keeping your Christmas tree (and your family) safe
Dry wood and flame don’t mix well. Every year, emergency services get called to homes where the Christmas tree has burnt up like, well, a tree. Saving your Christmas presents is the least of your worries if that happens, so keep your tree watered and away from sources of danger.
1. Make sure there’s still water in that bucket! If you forget but manage to catch it in time, you may need to cut off another disc from the bottom so it will be able to absorb water again.
2. Don’t weigh down your tree with too many decorations.
3. Check your lights to make sure they’re in good condition. Frayed wires are a bad sign.
4. Don’t overload your electrical outlets. Keep this mind in particular if you’re in an older house that may not have as much electrical capacity.
5. Using lights with low heat will prevent your tree from drying out too much.
6. Always unplug at night! Santa will be able to find his way around your home without those lights. Besides, you’ll save a bit on your electricity bill.
Take care of your Christmas tree
So long as you take care of it by watering it regularly, you can keep your tree over the season and not have to clean up too many pine needles from your floor when it’s time to remove it from your living room (or if you prefer to tell stories to your children, when it’s time to send the tree off to the tree farm, where it will be able to play in the fresh air with all of the other used Christmas trees).