‘Tis the season to buy a Christmas tree, but along with it, comes plenty of choices and needed care. Are you a real or fake Christmas tree family? Both have their pros and cons, but if you choose to go the “real” tree route, there are a few things you need to know first.
The top selling types of Christmas trees in the United States are:
- Scotch pine
- Douglas fir
- White pine
- Balsam fir
When you go to your local Christmas tree farm to pick your tree, if you notice a lot of needles on the ground, go somewhere else. The trees were likely cut weeks ago and aren’t as fresh. To check the freshness, brush your hand along a branch and ensure no needles fall off. Once you find that perfect tree, it’s time to take it home, and that’s when the fun begins!
When it comes to caring for your Christmas tree at home, follow these 4 tips:
- Saw a couple inches off the bottom of the tree before setting it in water. This will help the tree absorb more water.
- Water! It’s critical. The average freshly-cut tree consumes a gallon of water in just 24 hours. Fill the stand with water often and never let it get below the tree’s base.
- Keep the tree away from heating ducts. In fact, the lower the temp in your home, the better the tree will do.
- It’s not uncommon to put sugar in the water to help growth. This hasn’t been proven, but many people do it and swear by it. It can’t hurt!
Following these tips can ensure your tree lasts through Christmas and you won’t be picking up tree needles on your floor every night. Remember: this is a real tree and it requires a lot of care.
Once the holidays are over, what do you do with the tree? Here are some tips and tricks:
- Small birds like chickadees and finches feed off Christmas trees, so place your tree outside (maybe in the backyard) near a bird feeder or other trees to allow them to eat off of it.
- Throw it in a pond. Fish can live, sleep and lay eggs on the tree under water. (But make sure it’s a pond that doesn’t mind you dumping the tree in it.)
- Use the branches and pine needles as mulch.
- Make brush pile using the base.
- Ignite firewood in your fireplace using dried out sprigs.
- Use a wood chipper to break it down.
There’s a lot to know and do when it comes to a real Christmas tree, but we’re big fans of them. Plus, the benefits of using them after the holidays won us over. Wishing you all a happy holiday season!