Caring for your Christmas tree is much like caring for a fresh bouquet of flowers. Both should have a fresh cut on the stem, should be placed in water as soon as possible, and should never be allowed to dry out.
Prior to putting your tree in a stand make a fresh cut straight across the trunk 1/4″ to 1/2″ from the base before placing it in water. Place the tree in water as soon as possible if you can not set it up right away store the tree in a cool shaded area in a bucket of water. To display a tree indoors, the tree should be placed in a sturdy stand of appropriate size with adequate water holding capacity, generally one quart of water per inch of stem diameter. Check the base of the tree daily to assure that the level of water does not go below the base of the tree.
The tree must never be allowed to dry out, as a seal will form over the base of the tree. If this should happen, it would be necessary to make a new fresh cut across the trunk to allow the tree to take up moisture.
When ready to display your tree, choose a place in your home away from heat sources (fireplaces, heaters, heating vents, etc.) A fresh cut tree is no more flammable than a wet leaf, and in fact less than 0.0004% trees are ignited in house fires yearly. However, common sense dictates a few rules of caution. Inspect lights, cords, and connections prior to placing them on the tree to be sure that they are in good working order and are not frayed and always unplug lights when unattended.
Christmas trees are biodegradable, which means that they may be reused and recycled. After Christmas, tree branches may be removed, chipped, and used as mulch. Many communities offer recycling and mulching programs. Check newspapers and the internet, or call your local county or city government to find recycling programs in your area.
Perhaps you have chosen to purchase a live Christmas Tree that may be planted in your yard after the season and enjoyed for years to come. Note that live trees are bulky and heavy, and may be more difficult to transport to your home. Caring for a live Christmas tree is very much similar to caring for a fresh cut tree. Adequate water should be used to keep the soil damp, but not flooded, while in the container. They may be decorated in the same way as a fresh cut tree when displayed in the home. Then plant the tree as soon as possible after Christmas. To plant your live tree, tap the container to remove the tree, leaving the soil on the root system, and then backfill the soil removed from the hole around the root ball. Water daily initially, and stake the tree as needed to prevent wind tipping or damage.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all… Mark