The pleasures of decorating the Christmas tree can sometimes turn into a problem when a few days later, the tree becomes dry and starts to drop its needles.
With careful selection and care, the tree can last throughout the holidays, stay fresh and green, and afford some greens for arranging when it is taken down.
Selecting A Fresh Tree
The most important step in having a green tree throughout the holidays is selecting a fresh tree to start with.
The foliage should be a good green color (varying according to the variety) and should be pliable and fragrant.
Beware of the tree that is dry and crisp.
Shake the tree to see if any of the needles fall. Also, running your hand across the bottom of the cut trunk is good.
If it is still moist and sticky, chances are the tree has been just recently cut.
How To Care For The Christmas Tree
Prepare To Prolong The Tree’s Life
Shopping early is a good idea. This allows for a wide selection.
When the tree is brought home, it should be kept cool with its trunk standing in water.
It helps to sew off about an inch of the trunk to make a fresh surface of open cells to take up water.
The tree may be sprayed with cold water daily until it is ready to be put in the house.
Preparations are on the market for prolonging and fireproofing the tree’s life.
Various trade names give slightly different instructions.
Placing The Christmas Tree
Select a spot in the room away from heat currents, radiators, and television sets (which give off quite a bit of heat.)
When the tree is placed, it may be in a bucket of moist sand or in one of the stands with a water container.
The tree’s life can be extended greatly by adding sugar to the water, about one cupful to the gallon or a fraction thereof when less water is used.
The container must be replenished with water from time to time, for an average size tree may drink as much water as one cup a day.
Setup The Lighting
Before lights are placed, check all wires for fraying or bare wires.
Arrange the lights so they can be easily and conveniently turned off and on without disturbing the tree.
After the tree is dressed, it is helpful to lower the room temperature where it stands during the holidays.
This can be done easily by turning off the heat in this room overnight and allowing fresh air to enter.
Care should be taken to keep the air as fresh as possible in the room at other times.
Even though your tree has been treated for fireproofing, it is a good idea to hang a few fireballs filled with chemicals as a safeguard.
If you cannot obtain these, a small hand fire extinguisher should be kept nearby.
When decorations are fashioned from cuttings of evergreens, the greens should be completely submerged in water for at least half a day and preferably overnight.
This makes them saturated with moisture, cleans them, and gives them the longest life possible.
Preparing The Christmas Tree
When the tree is taken down, it need not be a problem or just something too large to fit into the trash container.
Many of the branches can be used to design all green arrangements.
Last year when we took down our pine tree, I cut the branches and made pine arrangements for our house and those of friends.
They were still fresh 4 weeks later.
Before arranging the branches, I added sugar to the water and soaked them in a large container of cool water overnight to restore good substance to the needles and branches.
If not used in this manner, the branches may be cut and used as protective winter mulch for tender plants in the garden, rock garden, or woodland.
By December, the ground is hard frozen, and the boughs of the Christmas tree are effective and decorative.
44659 by Victoria R. Kasperski