Monday, December 10, 2012

Make your Christmas tree last

Local Christmas tree sellers offer up these tips to keep your tree live through the holiday.

Take a fresh cut off the bottom: Ask the tree seller to take off a quarter-inch from the trunk to open the pores of the tree, so it will take up water better.

Get it wet fast: "We suggest you get it into water within the hour and keep checking the water level every day," said Janet Hague, who with her husband owns Hague's Christmas Trees in Hatfield.

Shelter it: Once the tree is trimmed on bottom and top, keep it in a cool place indoors. Keep it out of direct sunlight and wind, which can dry it out faster.

Stay away from preservatives: "Some preservatives can shorten the life of a tree," said Jay Bustard of Bustard's Christmas Trees.

Fill up the tree stand: Tree stands should contain 1 to 2 gallons of water and never go below that.

Buy fresh: The fresher the tree, the longer it will last. A tree sitting out for a while will naturally be drier and die faster.

Replanting? Area tree sellers recommend buying a balled tree a week or week and a half before Christmas. If you keep it inside longer, it will not take when you plant it outside. Make sure you have a hole dug in your yard for the tree, as well, making it easier to plant after Christmas. Make sure the ground is soft enough when you plant the tree so it can survive and draw in water.

Don't let it get wet feet: Care should be taken with balled trees so their roots don't become rotten from over watering in their pots.

Keep it from heat: Cut trees dry out faster if placed near a heating source.