5 Ways to Extend the Life of Your Poor Dying Christmas Tree

christmas tree

If you're afraid you'll find more pine needles under your tree on Christmas morning than presents, you're not alone. Keep in mind most trees sold at big retailers and temporary lots have been cut and drying out for a few months now. A dry tree isn't only sad to look at it, it can become a fire hazard. So, just how do you keep your evergreen, er, evergreen?

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tree freshEveryone knows you need to keep that water topped up (a tree may drink as much as a quart or more of water a day!), but is there anything else to help prevent a steady rain of pine needles from covering your floors and carpets? Experts shared some important advice for ensuring that your tree looks its best for the big day! 

1. Lights matter. When it comes to decorating your tree, use only UL-approved electrical decorations and extension cords. Also, make sure those cords you used last year and stored in the attic or basement are still in good shape. If they're frayed, replace them. If you're still using older bulbs, make the switch to low-heat LED lights. They'll keep the tree cooler and use less electricity. 

Remember to turn off tree lights when you go to bed or leave the house. Sure, it looks nicer when it's lit, but there's no need to light up the tree if no one is looking anyway. 

2. Give your tree a trim. If your tree is very dense, trim a few branches back to the trunk, the experts at Oak Leaf Gardening recommend. This gives your tree a more graceful appearance, reduces the number of branches that require water, and provides you with some trimmings to use elsewhere in your home. Just be sure the sap doesn't leak out, which could stain your furnishings, before you start decorating. 

3. Keep it cool. Turn off any radiators near the tree to keep it as cool as possible, and don’t put it near any other heat sources, such as fire places, the gardeners at Oak Leaf note. If you live in a warm climate and your tree will get lots of sunshine through windows or skylights, consider closing the blinds or moving your tree to a darker part of your home. 

Consider lowering the temperature in the room where you tree stands. This is good to keep in mind particularly when you're bringing your tree in initially. Going from the chilly outdoors to a warm space can shock the tree, causing it to lose its needles prematurely. 

4. Give it an aspirin. Adding aspirin to the water, or using distilled water, can help prevent needle drop, experts say. But if you have pets, make sure they're not drinking the tree's water -- especially if you've added that aspirin. 

5. Your tree has stopped drinking and it's not even Christmas -- now what? We'll admit this solution is not convenient, but neither is risking a fire or going out and buying a new tree, right? The gardeners at Oak Leaf suggest taking down the tree and sawing a couple of inches off the base. 

 

Image ©Africa Studio/shutterstock & 
Olha Afanasieva/shutterstock

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