When you’re as enthusiastic in regards to the vacation season as I’m, you most likely like to embellish your Christmas tree early, and which means bringing house a dwell tree quickly after Thanksgiving and hoping it lasts for a number of weeks.
When you’re not diligent initially of the season, nonetheless, you possibly can find yourself with extra fallen pine needles than presents below the tree by Christmas Day.
There are a variety of tips to make a Christmas tree final longer, and this goes for a tree picked up on the native tree lot, a tree harvested from a Christmas tree farm, or a tree reduce down within the forest (which my household does in Oregon yearly as a beloved custom).
However not one of the tips I share beneath contain the recommendation you usually hear for extending the bloom of reduce flowers, like reducing the underside at an angle or including sugar (or molasses, aspirin, industrial preservatives, or different pointless components) to the water.
In reality, the one belongings you’ll want to guarantee a pleasant, lengthy life in your tree is a clear reduce and loads of water.
Don’t consider me? Learn on.
Listed here are the precise steps I take yearly to keep our Christmas tree recent and exquisite all month lengthy (and even previous the New 12 months).
How to make a Christmas tree final longer
1. Begin with a wholesome, vibrant tree.
That is particularly essential should you’re shopping for a specimen from a tree lot, because the tree could have been reduce a pair weeks prior and transported a protracted distance to attain the seller. Don’t be afraid to ask the seller the place the bushes got here from and the way not too long ago they had been harvested.
Earlier than bringing a tree house, run your fingers alongside the branches and search for gentle, versatile needles which have a wealthy, deep inexperienced shade.
Dried-out bushes will usually have a bleached or pale olive-colored look. Examine what number of needles fall off instantly—if it’s so much, it’s a superb indication that the tree just isn’t as recent accurately. Give the tree a superb shake and look ahead to an extreme quantity of needles that fall, in addition to indicators of thinning or browning areas.
Associated: Why Internal Conifer Needles Flip Yellow or Brown in Fall: An Evergreen Anomaly
If the tree is already beginning to dry out and has stiff, brittle needles, it received’t take up as a lot water, and a heat, cozy house will solely exacerbate the issue.
Weight additionally issues: a heavy tree means it’s retained a whole lot of water, serving to it keep brisker longer.
When you’re reducing your personal tree, attempt to await just a few arduous frosts to occur first. This sends evergreen species right into a state of dormancy so that they’re hardened and prepared for winter. Their needles kind a heavy, waxy coating referred to as cutin to assist forestall moisture loss, they usually’re much less probably to react to daylight and heat indoor temperatures.
2. Give the tree a clear, straight reduce throughout the underside.
Chopping down your personal tree ensures you may have the freshest reduce attainable, assuming you don’t dwell greater than a pair hours away.
It’s because it takes three to 4 hours for a seal of dried sap to kind over the reduce trunk, thereby hindering its means to take in water. It’s most typical in non-dormant bushes and people who sit out within the solar for some time.
Also Read: Where to find a sugar daddy
When you’re shopping for a tree from a tree lot, ask the seller to make a recent reduce for you by slicing off a skinny disk of wooden from the trunk. That is superb should you’ll be inserting your tree in water inside 45 minutes of the reduce.
In any other case, make the reduce your self at house by sawing an inch off the underside in a straight line (no angled or “V” cuts essential).
You need to make a recent reduce even should you reduce your personal tree just some hours in the past.
Why? As a result of when a tree is first reduce, air will get into the plant tissues and disrupts the tree’s means to take in water. Chopping the trunk once more “primes” the tree, so to communicate, so it might hydrate correctly.
3. Get the tree in water as quickly as you come house.
The drive house on the roof of your automobile or the mattress of your truck can begin to dry out even the freshest tree to the purpose the place it wants a drink of water instantly.
When you haven’t cleared area in your house for the tree but, place the trunk in a big bucket of water in a cool, shaded, sheltered spot like an unheated storage (or a coated porch, if it doesn’t get beneath freezing in your space).
Timber can take in as a lot as a gallon of water within the first 24 hours, so it’s essential that your tree stays nicely hydrated.
As quickly as you convey your tree indoors, set it up in a sturdy tree stand with a beneficiant water reservoir that holds at the least a gallon of water.
Use a stand that’s correctly sized in your tree, as you need to keep away from carving off the bark to match the stand—it’s these outer layers that assist the tree take in essentially the most water. With out them, your tree will dry out sooner.
4. Keep it cool.
As romantic as the thought of a fantastically lit Christmas tree by the fireside is (you recognize, so Santa has fast entry), it’s really not essentially the most superb place to keep a tree.
Warmth sources like fireplaces, wooden stoves, area heaters, and radiators usually dry out a tree a lot sooner than you may water it, so it’s greatest to find your tree away from heating apparatuses and heating vents, and out of direct daylight.
When you love having your tree in entrance of a window, attempt to keep away from a south-facing window (or draw the blinds or curtains throughout the day when the solar is most intense).
The hotter your house is, the extra your tree will take up water, so take into account reducing the thermostat to gradual the drying course of.
When you dwell in a very dry local weather, it might additionally assist to run a room humidifier close to the tree to keep the needles brisker longer.
Disclosure: All merchandise on this web page are independently chosen. When you purchase from one in all my hyperlinks, I could earn a fee.
5. Go for LED lights.
Imagine it or not, the kind of Christmas gentle you embellish your tree with can have an effect on how lengthy your tree lasts. Must you go incandescent or LED? Effectively, right here’s the factor…
The brand new faculty of LED vacation lights emit little or no warmth, which retains your tree from drying out too rapidly and in addition reduces the danger of fireplace.
They’re cheap, vitality environment friendly, don’t burn out, and final a very long time, and most fashionable LED lights are available a “warm white” glow that mimics incandescent lights. (My favorites are these sphere lights, which have a form of retro look to them.)
For all these causes, it’s value changing your conventional gentle strands with LED lights, or saving these hot-burning incandescent bulbs in your home windows as an alternative.
You could find tree toppers lit with LED lights, too. Lots of them are made to join to your LED gentle strands, so that you don’t have to cope with further cords or batteries.
6. Examine the water stage daily.
Timber suck up an enormous quantity of water, so don’t be stunned should you discover that you just want to high off your tree stand day by day.
Keep at the least 2 inches of the trunk submerged in plain, clear water always to forestall sap from forming over the bottom. (It’ll be a lot more durable to make a recent reduce once more in case your tree’s already adorned.)
Do not forget that generally there’ll nonetheless be water within the stand, however you received’t notice that the water stage has dropped beneath the bottom of the tree.
Basically, a tree can take in up to a quart of water per day for each inch of its diameter, particularly within the first week.
This is likely one of the causes a correctly sized tree stand is useful. In case your tree trunk is 5 inches in diameter, get a tree stand that holds at the least 5 quarts of water so that you don’t have to refill it twice or extra every day to keep the needles inexperienced and supple.
(See my favorites, like this Tree Genie Deluxe, within the supply checklist beneath.)
7. Recycle your Christmas tree within the backyard.
With correct care, a typical evergreen tree ought to final 4 to 5 weeks earlier than it dries out an excessive amount of. After that, most individuals get rid of it via a neighborhood tree recycling program.
However, you can provide your tree a second life within the backyard and have the whole lot come full circle.
Attempt reducing the branches into smaller items and including them to your compost pile. Since natural brown matter (carbon) is more durable to come by in winter, they’re good for balancing all of the inexperienced matter (nitrogen) that come out of your kitchen scraps. Or, run the trunk and branches via a wooden chipper to make mulch in your planters and paths.
An outdated Christmas tree additionally makes a superb base for a brand new hugelkultur mattress, a sort of lasagna backyard that’s one in all my favourite lazy gardening methods.
If in case you have perennial backyard beds that want mulching, you may strip the tree of its branches and place them round your vegetation and shrubs. Leaving the branches lengthy like this can create a pleasant, thick mat of mulch for the rest of the season.
For the artful of us, it’s also possible to slice the trunk into skinny rounds to use as coasters, place playing cards, present tags, and different enjoyable initiatives.
Want extra inspiration? Listed here are 10 intelligent concepts for repurposing an outdated Christmas tree. You’ll by no means marvel what to do with a lifeless tree once more!
Frequent questions on preserving Christmas bushes recent
This put up up to date from an article that initially appeared on December 5, 2018.
Also Read: How to harden plants before transplanting