You’d have to be a fairly miserable character not to put up a Christmas tree at Christmas, unless you aren’t interested on religious grounds. The plastic variety is very popular, but nothing beats a real tree. The main reasons people go for plastic trees is because they don’t want to have to clean up needles every day, and they don’t want a bare Christmas tree that’s died days before the big day. With a few simple tips you can keep your tree alive for longer.
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Get a tree that is freshly cut. Lots of farms let you go out and pick your tree while it’s still in the ground. Buying like this will ensure freshness and give you the maximum breathing room. If you can’t get one of these, make sure you pick your tree wisely and don’t go for any that have brown branches or needles on them. Take your time and get a good one – don’t worry about annoying the staff at the garden centre.
If you buy a pre-cut tree you will have to cut an inch or so from the bottom of the trunk to allow water to be sucked into the tree. When the tree is cut the base soon becomes sealed with sap which will inhibit water uptake.
Keep it wet
Putting your tree in soil will not be as effective at keeping the tree alive as putting it in water will. Think about what you do with cut flowers. Keep the base in water even if you’re not putting it up right away. Keep the base topped up with water, and water it along with the “other” houseplants. If you leave it dry the sap will start to close over the base again.
Don't dry it out
Choose a place away from heaters and the fire so that you don’t dry the tree out more than you have to. You don't have to keep your living room below a comfortable temperature, just make sure heat sources are kept at bay. Some aficionados bring a humidifier into the room to maintain moisture levels in the tree. Newer LED lights are cooler than traditional bulbs, so use these.
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