The first Saturday of December is National Christmas Tree Day. What better time to remind everyone how best to select and care for their fresh Christmas trees. Happy hunting this weekend! Check the Christmas Tree Farmers of Ontario website for locations to cut-your-own or support your favourite charity around town.
Christmas Tree 101
- When purchasing a fresh-cut Christmas tree from a tree lot, raise the tree a few inches in the air and stamp it on the ground. Check for needle drop. Some interior needles will fall, but you shouldn’t lose many exterior needles. That tree is a keeper.
- Grab hold of the tip of a Christmas tree’s branch and bend the needles. A fresh tree’s needles should not break or come off the tree easily. Brittle needles are a sign that the tree could be dried out. Choose another.
- Decide where you are going to put your Christmas tree once you get it home. This helps you decide on how big a tree to get and whether you can get away with a bald spot which can be hidden in a corner.
- Once you get your Christmas tree home, cut 1-2 cm (about an inch) off the bottom of the stump. Sap will reseal cuts older than 4 hours old, thus preventing water absorption and drying out your tree. A fresh cut ensures good water absorption.
- When choosing a site for your tree, remember to keep fresh trees away from heat registers, fireplaces, and other sources of heat. They dry out your tree and make the tree more flammable. Keep the fire in your hearth, not beside it in the form of a flaming Christmas tree.
- Trees will drink upwards of 4 litres of water per day. Make sure you place them in a stand large enough to hold enough water and refill the stand daily. Start with warm water. Don’t worry about any Grandma-proven additives to keep the tree fresher. Just make sure it doesn’t dry out, so keep the stand filled.
- Never leave Christmas lights on overnight or when you leave home. Again, heat sources dry out trees, plus turn them into a fire hazard. Be safe this holiday season and turn out your lights when you leave the room.
- Fresh cut Christmas trees should last indoors for 2-3 weeks. The longer you leave it up, the more needles will fall and the bigger the fire risk. Check your local calendar for drop off locations and hours.
- If you purchase a Live potted Christmas tree, don’t leave them indoors longer than 10 days. If left indoors too long, the tree will not be able to adapt to the freezing temperatures outdoors.
- Decorate your tree with love and your favourite ornaments; lights, garlands, popcorn strings, paper snowflakes, glass ornaments, candy canes, angels, stars, and/or whatever else looks right to you.