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Caring for Your Fresh Christmas Tree

We’ve outlined some basic tips to ensure you get the most out of your Holiday Christmas tree.

  • If you are not planning to set your tree up in your house the day you bring it home, keep it in a sheltered, unheated area such as a porch or garage to protect it from the sun and the wind until you are ready to bring it indoors. Keep it immersed in a bucket of water so that sap does not form over the cut stump and block the tree's ability to absorb water.
  • When you bring your tree indoors, start with a stable tree stand that will hold your tree without tipping and provide enough water (1 quart of water per inch of stem diameter). 
  • Clear a space large enough to handle the diameter of your tree and stay away from heat sources.
  • For trees that have been cut longer than 4 hours, make a fresh cut of about a ½” disk from the base of the trunk for water uptake.
  • Secure the tree in the stand making sure it is straight and add water. 
  • Water temperature doesn’t matter and no additives are needed.
  • The tree will require a lot of water initially, so make sure there is plenty of water for uptake. A tree can absorb as much as a gallon of water in the first 24 hours.
  • Daily watering is important to prevent the needles from drying and dropping off. Water also keeps the tree fragrant. 

Recycling Your Fresh Christmas Tree

Don’t wait until your tree has dried out before removing it. As they dry out, trees become more likely to become fire hazards. First, remove the tree stand, tree skirt, ornaments, garlands and lights before disposing of your live Christmas tree. Have a bucket or other large container nearby to dump water that may have collected in the tree stand.

Next, use a large, plastic tree bag, bed sheet or blanket to cover and wrap around the tree before removing it from your home. This will help keeps needles and sap from making a mess on your floors.

Real trees are a renewable, recyclable resource providing benefits to the environment. The plantation-grown Holiday trees decompose in landfills and quickly replenish soil nutrients. There is also a growing trend of recycling Christmas trees where the trees are turned into mulch for gardens and other uses.


* Find a Christmas tree recycling center near you *

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