Fresh Christmas Tree Care 101

There is nothing quite like walking in the door and smelling a fresh Fraser fir during the holiday season. As soon as that apple cobbler is cleared from my Thanksgiving table, it’s time to dust off the Christmas ornaments and head out to find the perfect fresh Christmas tree!

If you’re anything like me you can quickly get wrapped up in the tree decor, but just as important as perfect light alignment is the proper care for your Christmas tree. Throughout my years of tree maintenance and through chatting with friends and family, I have gathered a few tips to help you ensure that your tree stands tall throughout the season.

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#1 The most healthy trees are those that you can cut down yourself. That isn’t always realistic, but you can do your research on local places that source trees directly from nearby farms.

#2 When you’re purchasing your tree from a lot, look for trees that are full. If there are already bristles on the ground at the base of the tree, that isn’t a great sign of a healthy tree!

#3 Once you take your tree home, make a fresh cut in the stem before you set it up. Just as you do with flowers before you put them in a vase, giving it a new trim will allow it to absorb water quickly.

#4 Water is crucial. Ensure that tree is “drinking” as soon as possible!

#5 Get a stand that will hold a lot of water. Keep it steadily filled. Be careful; fresh trees will absorb water far quicker than you think. Make it a habit of watering the tree each day. You don’t want to let the water level go below the base at any point. Thirsty trees aren’t happy and healthy trees!

#6 Some people will say that tree additives serve as great feeders to a healthy tree. I am a believer that continually watering is the most reliable assurance that your tree stays vibrant and thriving through the season (and beyond).

#7 Some people will also say that drilling a hole in the base will help with water absorption and therefore keep your tree healthier. Though I am no scientist, I’ve been told (and in my opinion, proven) that this doesn’t help.

#8 Didn’t your mom also tell you that trees can be extremely flammable? Well, you probably won’t go waving around open flames, but do keep that in mind when you decide where to keep it in your home. Directly next to the heater in your living room isn’t an ideal place for keeping it hydrated (the heat will dry it out). A dryer tree is far more susceptible to catching fire. Just like those items in your pantry, keep that tree in a temperature-controlled, neutral space.

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Whether you’re a firm believer that the tree should not last a day past January 1st or preferably one of those “as long as it lives” people, we can all agree that the proper disposal is crucial. Whenever you determine the tree has served its season, take it to Radnor Lake, and they will chip it to use as mulch for the trails! If you don’t make it to Radnor, find a recycling option. Post-season tree care is just as important!

For right now, we don’t need to talk about disposal. The time to seek, choose and decorate your tree is alive as ever - and so will be your tree when you follow these steps.

I would love you see your trees! If you post a photo on Instagram make sure to tag me!

Happy tree decorating!

Bailey Rae