Tree Care and Safety
A few simple tips:
- If the tree is not to be put up right away, store it in a protected shady unheated area. Place the tree base in a bucket of water.
- When the tree is brought into the house, saw a slice off the butt (end) to ensure water absorption. It is best to make the cut at a slight angle to ensure that the base of the trunk and ends of the water carrying tubes, located just under the bark, are not pressed against the bottom of the stand.
- Use a sturdy stand with a large water reservoir so it won’t dry out. A fresh tree can use up to1 gallon (4 L.) of water a day, so water daily. Water useage will slow down after the first few days. Water is a factor in keeping the tree fragrant. A tree is beginning to dry out if its water use slows or stops.
- Allowing the water level in your stand to fall too low will cause the water-carrying tubes to seal over, and your tree will stop taking in water.
- Generally speaking, treat a green Christmas tree just like a bouquet of cut flowers
- Keep the tree away from heat sources such as fireplaces, wood stoves, televisions, radiators, air ducts or any place where the sun could shine on it through a window.
- The old European custom of lighting the tree with candles, while lovely, is a real safety hazard. Trees intended for this custom must be selected very carefully to ensure that they are suited to this use. They must be exceptionally open (some people would consider them sparse) and be maintained to optimum freshness. A better guideline would be “Never use open flames on or near a Christmas tree.”
- The tree should be located in a secure place, preferably near a wall or corner where it is not likely to be knocked over.
- Light cords and connections used in decorating the tree should be in good working condition. Lights should always be turned off at bedtime or when leaving for an extended period of time.
- A well cared for tree will remain fresh for a lengthy period of time, depending to a large degree on its species. It will not catch fire unless a strong flame supported by flammable material placed under the tree ignites. The best fire retardant is to keep the tree supplied with plenty of water on a daily basis.
- A real Christmas tree that is watered and cared for will not shed its needles. In fact – depending on the type of tree – it could last two months or more!
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