Buying real Christmas trees and how to prevent them from drying out
At 11 days from Christmas, many people already have their real Christmas trees and want to know how to make them stay fresh through the holidays.
Linda’s Produce in Harrison, Tennessee, and Raulston Acres Christmas Tree Farm in Rock Spring, Georgia, gave tips on picking out your real tree and how to ensure it stays fresh and green.
The main key for your real tree is water and more water, but other factors are involved as well.
The length of time your Christmas tree will stay fresh before drying out depends on the tree variety.
"We only do Fraser firs because I feel like they are the hardiest. They're the most durable. They stay green the longest," Mark Ramey, Owner of Linda's Produce, said.
Both locations sell pre-cut Fraser firs from western North Carolina, harvested the week before Thanksgiving. Fraser firs only grow at elevations over 2800 feet.
Raulston Acres Christmas Tree Farm also grows their own trees that you can pick and cut down.
"Murray Cypress is probably our best seller, and it does last for anywhere from 5-6 weeks generally if properly taken care of," Dan Raulston, Owner of Raulston Acres Christmas Tree Farm, said.
However, one of their other trees, the Carolina Sapphire, will only last about four weeks. Thus, when buying your live tree, you need to ask how long the tree variety will stay fresh to avoid buying a tree too early and it drying out before Christmas.
For the pre-cut trees, it is different.
"The faster that you can buy your tree, it's easier for you to care for one, than it is for someone else to care for 500. The quicker you get it, the better you can care for it," Ramey stated.
If you purchase a pre-cut tree, make sure the seller or you give the base of the tree a fresh cut before putting it in its stand.
Then comes the key of watering. The tree stand should hold around a gallon of water because new trees will drink a half to one gallon of water per day.
If you let the water run out, the tree will dry out, and the freshness of the tree will be affected for the rest of the season.
"The tree will start to protect itself and give you a sap over on the bottom of the tree. And when it closes itself off to water, you could put it in a bathtub, and it still would not get any water soaked up through its stem," Raulston explained.
Tree freshener product may also be purchased to add to the tree's water. Additionally, to prevent premature drying, keep the tree away from direct heat and sun.
Other tips to have your best real Christmas tree are to shake the tree to remove any old shed needles before taking it inside. Some people even wash their trees with water to remove dust and pollen.
For people still in need of a tree for Christmas, both Linda’s Produce and Raulston Acres Christmas Tree Farm have trees available.