Now it’s December – we can start talking Christmas 🙂
Trees in the UK are usually cut at around the same time of year, which (as I understand) is around the week commencing 25th November. This means that from start to finish that tree will out of the ground for approximately six to seven weeks – which is quite a long time.
Most Christmas trees are evergreen, which means that when the tree is cut, it’ll begin to lose moisture mainly from the base, but also through perspiration through the spines. To combat this, the stump will begin to seal itself with sap in a bid to hold as much water as it can, for as long as it can.
This means that unless the tree is put into water within 24 hours of being cut, this makes putting the tree straight into water when you get a home a little bit of a futile exercise, as not as much water can penetrate that seal.
Recut the base of the Christmas tree
Water is THE factor to consider when it comes to trying to keep a Christmas tree fresher for longer.
When you get home, you should cut off at least an inch from the bottom of the tree before placing it in water. This will break the sapped seal and allow water to be absorbed by the tree. It’s also advisable to cut a cross, or even a straight line across the base of the tree as this will help when it comes to water absorption.
Don’t trim off bark from the stump of the tree. Tree bark is needed to aid with water transportation inside of the tree. It’s very tempting to shave the bark to help the tree fit into the stand – but this is two steps forward and one step back when it comes to helping your tree stay fresh.
The answer here is to get a bigger stand.
With the above in mind, it’s best to pick a tree with plenty of stump, more than you need to help the tree stay fresher for longer.
Keep up the watering every day
A Christmas tree can suck up a fair amount of water, so if you can get a stand that can hold at least a gallon of water, then definitely use that. I’ve got into the habit of topping up the tree every day with water – religiously in fact.
After all, who wants a sad, dried up Christmas tree in the corner of the room!
If you let your tree dry out, this means the sap will reseal the base and your tree will then fail to suck up as much water.
I’ve also done some research online and I’ve seen that adding sugar or preservative chemicals into the tree stand with the water will also help with keeping the tree fresh – however, the research has also indicated that the jury is well and truly out on this, maybe next year this is something to be tested fully – who knows, I might even go out into the wilderness, in true Clarke Griswold style and cut my own tree!
Have you tried the sugar method before? Would love to read more hints and tips for Christmas Tree preservation in the comments below. 🙂