Tips for Prolonging the Life of a Fresh Cut Christmas Tree

'Tis the season to drag a tree into your living room and try to keep it from becoming a dry fire hazard before New Years. My husband and I picked up our tree over the weekend and that act sent me to the internet looking for tips on how to prolong the life of a cut tree. Here are some tips I found along the way…

• When you purchase your tree, have the folks at the lot make a fresh cut to the trunk. This will help the tree absorb water.
• Get your cut tree into water as soon as you can. If you're not itching to decorate it right away, store the tree (in water) in a cool place, such as a garage.
• Once you do bring the tree indoors, keep it away from direct heat. The cooler the environment, the happier the tree.
• Keep the tree watered. Once the trunk dries out it will sap over and then it won't absorb water at all. And trees take a lot of water so check it twice daily to make sure it hasn't slurped up every last bit of liquid.
• I saw a few references to mixing aspirin and 7-Up into the basin of water. I also saw a lot of back-and-forth about whether this is effective in keeping the tree green longer. As much as I'd like to try it, I know that one of my cat's favorite holiday activities is drinking from the tree's reservoir so I'm going to stick with water.
• When decorating the tree, try to find lights that stay cool to the touch. Any heat will dry out the tree, even the heat from all those little lights wrapped around it.
• One brilliant tip I ran across a couple of times was rigging a tube and funnel system to the tree so that you don't have to crawl around on the floor to water it. Simply tie a long tube along the trunk of the tree and down into the water basin. At the top of the tube, affix a funnel. Pour the water into the funnel, it travels down the tube, and into the basin. Clever, eh?

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Image: Jason Loper