Christmas comes but once a year and for many it brings beautiful live Christmas trees into the home. The two types of live Christmas trees are rooted and fresh cut trees. For those who choose to have live Christmas trees there are several techniques, tips, and warnings that need to be addressed.
Buying a Real Christmas Tree With Roots Attached
Before buying a live tree with the roots still intact, check with the county extension forester or a local nursery to see which specific types of trees can survive in certain areas when replanted. According to the National Christmas Tree Association, every year approximately 25 to 30 million live Christmas trees are sold. Rooted trees are very heavy. Have a plan of action on how to transport the tree into the home safely.
Cover the root ball with a plastic bag or it can be placed inside a container, such as a large pot, during the holidays. Water regularly, but keep in mind it should only be damp as too much water could damage the roots. Decorate the live tree with ornaments and lights that will not become hot.
After the holidays, do not immediately plant the rooted tree in frigid temperatures. Relocate the tree from the nice warm home to a non-heated shelter to keep it from the outside winter weather. After several days, if weather permits and the temperature will be above freezing, dig a proper size hole to plant the tree. To keep the roots from freezing on cold days, add mulch. It is best to stake the tree for at least one year to prevent any swaying or tipping.
Live Christmas Tree Stands and Christmas Tree Lights
Fresh cut live Christmas trees need proper care to maintain a safe, happy environment. After purchasing a live cut tree, it is best to cut a ½ inch flat disc from the bottom of the tree. This will allow the tree to receive an adequate water supply. One of the best choices to maintain a live Christmas tree is a stand that holds water to maintain a healthy tree throughout the holidays.
Before placing the tree in the stand, check to see if the stand is the correct size. It is not advised by the National Christmas Tree Association to remove or cut off any outside bark of the tree trying to fit it into a tree stand that is too small. More water is taken in by the outer layers of wood and need to remain intact.
Miniature Christmas tree lights that radiate low heat are best suited for live Christmas trees. These lights will result in less drying of the tree than other lights. Check lights before adding them to the tree. Never leave lights plugged in to an outlet when leaving the home or going to bed.
Live Christmas Trees
Check water daily for an adequate water supply in the Christmas tree stand. It is a misconception that water temperature is an important factor when watering a live tree. Display all Christmas trees away from heaters, fireplaces, candles, or other fire hazards. Always check to make sure the cut tree base is under water.