Five Tips for Outdoor Christmas Trees

Five Tips for Outdoor Christmas Trees

Rockefeller Center isn't the only place deserving of an outdoor Christmas tree. What about your patio or outdoor deck? Oh sure, this year's Rockefeller tree is 75 years old, 74' tall and a whopping 10 tons — probably a little oversized for an average backyard. But there's no reason you can't go to town on a pretty six footer.

Coastal Living offers a few helpful tips on trimming and maintaining an outdoor tree:

• Go artificial, especially if you live where extreme heat or cold would speed the decay of a cut tree. Artificial trees have come a long way since Grandma's white-flocked monstrosity. The best part? You can pack it away and reuse it, making it the greenest option.

• Invest in unbreakable decor. You can buy shatterproof ornaments at many craft and Christmas stores. You can also get creative with found items like pinecones and shells. To this, I would add a tip that also works well indoors: Attach ornaments with florist's wire or fishing line. It's almost comical to see my cat try to bat ornaments to the floor now. They're like kitty pinatas that never break!

• Buy oversized tree lights for big visual impact — especially important for an outdoor tree. For a vintage look, choose multicolor strands, or stick with white for a sophisticated modern style. LED lights last longer and use less electricity.

• Prevent tip-overs in strong winds by attaching your tree to a permanent structure with fishing line, or weigh the base down with bags of sand.

• If you only have a tiny patio to show off your holiday spirit, pick up a pint-size living tree to decorate. Even better, buy one of those delicious-smelling rosemary topiaries, which will supply you with fresh herbs until next year, when it's time to break out the diminutive ornaments again.

Image: Coastal Living

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