It's no surprise that if you are going to put up a real Christmas tree in your home, you'll need to plan on providing it with lots of water. When a Christmas tree is cut, more than half its weight is water and once it's cut the most important family chore becomes filling the proper stand with water to keep it as fresh as possible until it's time to take it to the curb.
The National Christmas Tree Association provides these tips to care for your real tree this Christmas.
- As a general rule, Christmas tree stands should provide 1 quart of water per inch of stem diameter.
- Use a stand that fits your tree. Avoid whittling the sides of the trunk down to fit a stand. The outer layers of wood are the most efficient in taking up water and should not be removed.
- Make a fresh cut to remove about a 1/2-inch thick disk of wood from the base of the trunk before putting the tree in the stand. Make the cut perpendicular to the stem axis. Don’t cut the trunk at an angle, or into a v-shape, which makes it far more difficult to hold the tree in the stand and also reduces the amount of water available to the tree.
- Drilling a hole in the base of the trunk does NOT improve water uptake.
- Once home, place the tree in water as soon as possible. Most species can go 6 to 8 hours after cutting the trunk and still take up water. Don’t bruise the cut surface or get it dirty. If needed, trees can be temporarily stored for several days in a cool location. Place the freshly cut trunk in a bucket that is kept full of water.
- The temperature of the water used to fill the stand is not important and does not affect water uptake.
- Check the stand daily to make sure that the level of water does not go below the base of the tree.
- Keep trees away from major sources of heat (fireplaces, heaters, heat vents, direct sunlight).
- Use of lights that produce low heat, such as miniature lights, will reduce drying of the tree.
- Always inspect light sets prior to placing them on the tree. If worn, replace with a new set.
- Do not overload electrical circuits.
- Always turn off the tree lights when leaving the house or when going to bed.
- Monitor the tree for freshness. After Christmas or if the tree is very dry, remove it from the house as soon as possible.
- Never burn any part of a Christmas tree in a wood stove or fireplace.
For many families cutting their own tree is a tradition and there are several tree farms in the area that provide the opportunity to get the freshest tree possible and experience a great time with the family in selecting and cutting that perfect tree. Below are just a couple places to cut your own tree.
Orillia Fish and Game Conservation Club 510 Bass Lake Sideroad. E. (Between Lines 8 and 10)
Gillespies U Cut - 3807 12th Line, North of Horseshoe Valley Road
Huronia Landscaping, Rainbow Valley Rd. E. Just north of Barrie. Follow signs off of Hwy 27.