Sunday, December 3rd, 2006...3:27 pm

Prolonging the life of your Christmas tree

I received this question from a Micah and his wife about prolonging the life of their Christmas tree:

We bought a Christmas tree this weekend.  My wife thinks that you can significantly prolong the life of the Christmas tree by putting a special solution (sugar?) in the water.  My view is that since water is what they get
in nature, that’s what’s best.

There have  been debates on whether adding anything (like sugar, aspirin or vodka) to a cut Christmas tree can prolong the life of a tree. The consensus among tree growers and scientists is that using just plain old tap water is enough.
 
When buying your Christmas tree be sure to check to see that the tree is fresh. To check for freshness stroke the needles or strike the stump of the tree on the ground. A fresh tree’s needles will not fall off. If the needles drop off when you are checking, it is a sure sign the tree is not fresh. When you bring your tree home, saw off about an inch of the bottom of the trunk. Cut straight across, not at an angle and immediately immerse the tree in a stand that is filled with at least a gallon of water. Check the water level daily and keep the stand full of water. A Christmas tree can absorb a gallon or more of water per day depending on the size of the tree.  Don’t ever let the level of the water in the container drop below the tree’s cut surface.  If you are not going to decorate the tree right away, leave it outdoors or in an unheated place like the garage-IN WATER-to prolong the life. Trees indoors prefer a cool temperature. 
 

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