Here are a few little tricks from homify to help you keep your Christmas tree fresh and beautiful throughout the holiday season – and beyond. For those of you who still enjoy strolling past your cheerful tree come the second week of January, take note!
Before you even strap it to the top of your car, it's very important to make sure that your tree is of high quality and comes from a well respected origin. If you choose to buy a cheap tree that hasn't received proper care and and handling, no matter how well you take care of it, it's not going to last as long as a tree that's been well cared for from the start. If possible, buy your Christmas tree from a small nursery, or from a gardener or farmer who specializes in seasonal plants or the cultivation of fir.
When evaluating a tree, use your senses:
To verify that the tree is fresh, lightly comb the branches with your hand: if only a few needles fall for the ground, the fir tree is in good health. If you notice a large sprinkling of pine needles on the ground, find a different tree. It's important to remember, though, that all conifers tend to lose some needles as part of their natural growth cycle, even when they are healthy.
Also, be sure that your fir is characterized by a bright green color and gives off a strong evergreen scent.
A tree is not just a holiday decoration; it's a plant and living creature. Transporting and transplanting plants always takes a toll on their health. To stabilize the tree during transport, wrap it in a towel or old blanket to avoid damage to branches. Like any living thing, it needs a few days to acclimate to new temperatures and conditions in your home – wait a day or two before you decorate the tree to allow it to acclimate. A waiting period also allows the branches to settle into their natural positions.
Some trees are sold with root bundles attached – don't cut these! However, if you've purchased a tree that's been cut at the trunk, giving it a fresh cut at home can help keep the wood open to water absorption for a longer period. Here's how to proceed:
- Use a diagonal cut, and remove about an inch of the trunk.
- Place the tree in a pot with plenty of lukewarm water and leave it for a couple of days in the balcony or in the garden. This gives your tree time to soak up as much water as possible.
- To bring the tree inside and place it in your tree stand, you'll need to cut it again. This time, cut the trunk straight across so it stands upright in your tree stand.
It will be important to ensure that the fir is placed in a cool environment, even in a warm winter home. Placing it near a window is a good solution, The main thing you'd like to avoid is drying out the needles and posing a fire risk to yourself: as long as it's away from heat sources such as radiators, stoves, or televisions, you'll reduce the risk of accidental fires. It goes without saying that candles should be kept away from the tree. The lights you place on the tree also have the potential to dry out the needles and reduce the lifespan of your tree – turn off the lights at night and whenever you leave the home in order to extend your tree's life.
A side note on windows: if you find that yours fill up with frost and steam in the winter, read this ideabook! You'll discover how to fix this potentially harmful window problem!
To prolong the tree's freshness, use a spray bottle to spritz the needles with water before starting to decorate.
As the weeks go on, water your tree at least twice a week. A tree with roots will soak up more water; these trees will need a dish with a larger reservoir than a trunk-only tree.
Many people choose to give nourishment to the Christmas tree by adding aspirin or soft drinks containing soda and lemon in order to give their tree a shiny appearance. If you attempt these methods, remember not to overdo it! A single application may be more than enough.
As a final note, remember that your tree may survive longer when kept outside in cooler temperatures. You can always move it outdoors after the holidays are over – you can still enjoy it on your patio or backyard for a few more weeks!
For more Christmas tree ideas, check out this ideabook filled with 10 festive trees to fill your home with Christmas cheer !