Not too long before the Christmas season begins and we all start to plan our Christmas celebrations. The first thing everyone thinks about is a beautiful Christmas tree that will adorn your home. Are you planning on getting a live Christmas tree this time around but worried about how long does a live Christmas tree last? We are here to help with all the queries you have regarding a fresh Christmas tree and its upkeep.
How long can you keep a live Christmas tree indoors?
You can keep a live Christmas tree indoors for weeks provided you give them the care they need. Though it is suggested to not keep a live Christmas tree indoors for more than 10 days, you can extend its life and beauty well beyond that. It is ultimately a live tree and without proper attention, it will die so take precautions like watering it well to keep it looking fresh.
Will a real Christmas tree last 4 weeks?
A freshly cut real Christmas tree can last 4 weeks with proper care and love. Usually, fresh trees are cut in mid-November up to mid-December and if care is taken while cutting it, it can certainly last for 4 weeks. Make sure you acclimatize the freshly cut tree to its new surroundings first. You can place the tree in an upright position in a plastic, metal, or concrete tree stand. Water the tree within two hours of bringing it home. For every inch of the stem add a quart of cool water to the stand. With that measurement, a tree with a stem of four inches will need a gallon of water. Regularly check the water levels especially in the first week after the jab and add water as and when required.
How can you make your Christmas tree last longer? 9 ways to follow
There is a lot more that goes behind keeping your Christmas tree last longer and fresher throughout the holiday season. A fresh Christmas tree surely adds warmth and makes the house fragrant but with proper maintenance, it can last a long time.
Read further to know how to make your tree last longer.
1. Pick fir or cypress over spruce or pine
How long a Christmas tree lasts depends on the variety of conifer you choose. Usually, the Christmas trees available at the garden centers or tree farms come in four varieties namely, cypress, fir, pine, or spruce. If you have all four available choose fir or cypress over spruce or pine. The needles on fir or cypress last for four to five weeks and the ones on spruce or pine shed in large quantity within a shorter duration of two to three weeks.
2. Ask upfront about the tree cutting date
While buying a pre-cut fresh tree always ask upfront for the date on which the tree was cut. This will give you a fair idea as to how long it can last. You might be surprised to know that many trees are not freshly cut yet sold as fresh cuts. Choose the one that looks fresh and has been recently cut, ideally within a week to last you through the holiday season.
3. Unseal the tree trunk before putting it in water
As mentioned earlier, you should put your tree in water within two hours of bringing it home but before you put it in water, unseal the tree trunk. If you see a resin layer on the wood cells at the base of the tree trunk it will seal it and prevent water absorption, this happens six to eight hours after the tree is cut. Saw half an inch of wood at the base of the trunk to re-open the wood cells and allow them to absorb water. Place the tree trunk in water only after doing this.
4. Have it baled before bringing it home
While bringing your Christmas tree many of us forget to get the tree baled and this damages the tree with bent branches and many needles lost on the way. If you are bringing the tree in your truck make sure to have it baled in a baling machine that will wrap the tree in twine or a protective net. This will ensure the tree does not suffer any damages and will also compress the size. Secure the baled tree on the car’s roof with ropes to keep it from falling off the car if you are getting the tree back home in your car. Place the tree in the stand and remove the protective net.
5. Inspect the needles
It is advisable to inspect the needles before buying a live tree. Shake the tree trunk to see if any needles fall and what is the color of the needles that fall. Ideally, a fresh tree will shed only a few brown ones. If there is a huge amount of needles falling you should know the tree is already dry.
6. Avoid additives
Many add bleach, floral preservatives, or crushed aspirin to the water thinking it will keep the tree fresh for a longer time. But, truth be told, there is no evidence to support this. It works in the opposite way causing retention of water and faster drying out of the tree. Only use plain water from the tap to keep your tree hydrated.
7. Use miniature LED tree lights
Decorate your tree with miniature lights that are 5mm long. Heat can dry up the tree faster and these miniature lights have low energy consumption and produce less heat that will keep your live tree from drying up. This will result in a long-lasting and green tree.
8. Invest in a moisture monitor
We are humans and humans are forgetful sometimes. It might happen that when you get the tree home, you may forget to check on your Christmas tree’s water levels. If you are one of those people who have a weak memory, get yourself a moisture monitor to avoid premature drying of the tree.
A moisture monitor has to be mounted on the base of the tree stand. It is designed to sense the level of water in the stand automatically. When the level of water is low it will give out a signal by lighting up or beeping. Re-water the tree when you get the signal.
Evergreen Elf is a good choice when it comes to moisture monitors, it is available on Amazon for $22.99.
9. Keep the tree out of the heat
Heat is the biggest enemy of a live Christmas tree. If you wish to keep your tree looking bright and fresh, keep it away from heat sources. Heat can dry up your tree. Keep the tree indoors and avoid keeping it outdoors. When indoors maintain a temperature not more than 70 degrees Fahrenheit, this will ensure the needles hold their moisture and keep that bright green hue. See to it that the tree is not in the path of direct sunlight. Likewise, keep your Christmas tree away from any heat sources like a fireplace, space heater, or radiator. Heat is responsible for making the tree brown and premature drying.
How do you know if your Christmas tree is dying?
To find out if your Christmas tree is dying, run your hand through your Christmas tree if you feel the branch is brittle or the needles fall off easily. It is a sign the tree is drying up. The bark of a dying tree will start to wrinkle, will give out a musty odor and needles will start to discolor.
What do you do with a dead Christmas tree?
There are various things you can do with a dead Christmas tree, like composting it, using it as firewood, or even chipping some wood to keep your garden beds warm. If you lack creative skills you can ask your waste collection guy to pick it up on collection day.
By now you know a Christmas tree lasts for a few weeks and you can follow all of the things mentioned above to keep your tree fresh for a long time. A beautiful live Christmas tree is always better than an artificial one that will make Christmas even more special. Get yourself a gorgeous Christmas tree this time around without having to worry about it dying before the holidays end.
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