Once you’ve made the decision to buy a real tree, there are several steps you can take to help ensure that your tree stays healthy and lasts through the holiday season.
- Choose the right tree for you. Trees come in different shapes and sizes. If you’re looking for a smaller tree, consider one of the many dwarf varieties available. These trees don’t grow as tall as other types of trees, making them ideal for small spaces. If you’re looking for something bigger, consider what kind of look you want your tree to have — whether it’s bushy or full-bodied — and choose accordingly.
- Choose a healthy looking, fragrant tree with good needles and sturdy branches. It should smell like pine needles, not perfume. If yours doesn’t, it’s probably been sitting around too long.
- Put the tree in water as soon as possible after bringing it home. The longer it goes without water, the more likely it is to dry out and lose its needles.
- Make sure there’s enough water in the stand at all times — aim for about one-half inch of water in the base of the tree stand every day or two (or when you notice that some has evaporated). You can also use a moisture meter to check how much water is left in your tree stand; that way you can tell if more water needs to be added before refilling it again with tap water or distilled water (not mineral water).
- Check your tree daily for insects and other pests. If you see any, remove them carefully with tweezers or a pin and place them in soapy water. Do not use pesticides or insecticides on your tree!
- Consider recycling your Christmas tree after it has served its purpose as an ornament by planting it in your garden or yard after January 1st to serve as mulch and fertilizer for next year’s blooms and growth!