Caring for Your Real Christmas Tree

A few simple care tips will enhance the enjoyment of your Christmas tree and keep it fresh and fragrant throughout the holiday season. When you bring the tree home, cut one quarter inch off the base of the trunk. Keep the tree outdoors, standing in a container of water, protected from the wind and sun until you are ready to decorate. This will help the tree retain its moisture.

Before bringing the tree into your home and placing it in a stand, make a fresh cut a minimum of one quarter inch off the base of the trunk. This opens the tree stem so it can take up water. Immediately place your tree in the stand and fill it with fresh water. If you allow the water level to drop below the fresh cut, a new seal will form over the stem. Remember, trees are very thirsty. They may drink between 2 pints to a gallon of water a day. Use a water-bearing stand with a capacity of a gallon or more. Check the stand daily and supply fresh water as needed.

Holiday Safety

Check all electric lights and connections before decorating your tree and home. Do not use lights with worn or frayed cords and NEVER use lighted candles on your tree. Don't overload electrical circuits. Place your tree away from fireplaces, radiators, television sets and other heat sources. These elements can prematurely dry your tree. And, be sure to turn off all decorations before retiring at night and any time you leave home.

Sensible precautions such as these will ensure a safe and happy holiday.

Christmas Tree Recycling

Your tree has uses after the holiday season, too. Place it in the garden or backyard for use as a birdfeeder;orange slices, bread and suet will attract birds and brighten up the winter landscape. In addition, your tree is biodegradable;its branches and trunk may be removed and used as mulch in your garden. Branch tips and needles provide aromatic stuffing for sachets.