6 Tree Tips

Posted on: November 21, 2012
6 Tree Tips

It’s that time of year! Time for family, food, and holiday cheer! It’s usually around this week when people begin decorating their homes for Christmas and putting up their trees. I love driving around town and seeing live trees on top of cars, traveling to their new homes where they’ll be the center of attention for the next 5 weeks. My husband and I always go together to pick out our tree, it’s serious business for me as I carefully inspect everything, looking for “the one”. When I find it, I just know, and I get super excited to get it home so I can get to work! Below are some tips, courtesy of Real Simple, for finding your perfect tree and nurturing it all season long.

Tree Tips2 6 Tree Tips1. Picking the One

Your local lots may sell only a couple of varieties, but if you have a broad choice, “true firs” (noble, Fraser, Nordmann, and Turkish) last longest: four to six weeks. Second best for life span: Douglas fir, Scotch pine, balsam, and grand fir. Spruce trees last only two or three weeks. Shop where cut trees are kept under shady tents or wrapped in burlap – not open to full sun, where they can dry out. If you prefer an artificial tree but crave the olfactory delight of a fresh one, try ScentSicles, which are small, realistically fragranced sticks in fir, pine, or spruce to camouflage deep in the branches.

2. Hauling it Home

After the seller cuts the trunk for you, place the tree on the car roof with the bottom facing forward to minimize needle loss. Get it in water within four to six hours of a fresh cut. If you’re not putting it up right away, set it in a bucket of water in a cool, dark place, like the garage.

3. Stress-Free Setup

Before you bring the tree inside but while the netting is still on, place it in its stand to minimize the mess in your living room. Tighten the bolts about 75 percent, haul the tree in, set it in place, and finish securing. Then fill with water.

4. Light it Right

For the easiest way to put on and remove lights, go vertical. Start at the bottom, continuously weaving lights up toward the top of the tree and back down to the base.

5. Health and Welfare

You already know that you should keep a tree away from heat sources (vents, fireplaces, woodstoves), both for fire safety and staying power, but you may not know that a tree needs to “drink” about a gallon of water every day. Check the water level daily; the trunk’s cut surface should never be exposed to air. Plain tap water is best.

6. The Takedown

Find out if your area offers curbside tree recycling and time the task of removal accordingly. When the day comes, ladle water out of the stand, using a turkey baster for the last bit. Nothing beats the plastic-tree-bag-under-the-tree-skirt for an exit strategy. (Try the Christmas-tree removal bag.) Sweep up needles rather than vacuuming, they can clog the machine.

Do you put up a real tree? How do you keep the process simple?

XO, Louisa

{Source: Tree Photo}


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