Christmas traditions fill the home with sights, sounds and smells that make the surroundings feel warm and welcoming. Brightly –lit Christmas trees decorated with special ornaments provide a lovely gathering spot for family and visiting friends, as well as a decorative focal point in the home. A real tree in the home brings a fresh, festive scent, and it you’re planning on entertaining over the holidays, your friends and family will enjoy it! The advantages of having a real Christmas tree in the home have been gaining attention. Buying a real tree contributes to the growth of our Canadian economy, and is being called a more “natural option” that doesn’t come with the chemical risks of artificial trees.
For those whose Christmas traditions involve bringing a real Christmas tree into the home, or for those who are considering it, our suggestions will help ensure your Christmas tree looks it’s best and stays healthy and vibrant for the duration of the season.
Choosing The Right Tree
A big part of the real Christmas tree tradition is in the choosing of the perfect tree. Begin by measuring your room to ensure that the tree you chose will fit well in the space. Next, decide on the type of tree you like best. Balsam fir, Douglas fir, Fraser fir, noble fir and Scotch pine are all varieties known to have the best shape, lush branches, rich colour and superior needle retention.
A good way to test if an already-cut tree is fresh and still hydrated is to pull a branch slowly through your fingers. A few dry needles is fine, but if a large number of needles end up in your hand, or the needles seem brittle, you will want to consider something else. Keep in mind that if you bend a needle in half with your fingers, fresh firs should snap, while fresh pines bend and should not break.
Preparing Your Tree
When bringing home your Christmas tree, ensure that it is covered/wrapped and protected from wind, which can be drying to the tree and cause damage to branches.
Keep in mind that a cut tree is essentially like a cut flower, it will need water to remain healthy. If you are not cutting down your own tree, then you’ll likely be buying it from a lot where it could have been sitting for days. Tree trunks need to be cut approximately ¼ to ½ inch of the bottom to remove the clogs and open up the vascular system again. You can cut more off, if you need to for height reasons. Ensure that the cut is straight across. An angular cut makes it more difficult for the tree to take up water, and it also makes it tricky to stand the tree.
Hydration is Key
If you are not planning on bringing the tree indoors straight away, it can be left placed in a bucket of cool water in a shady spot for up to two days. For the duration of the season, ensure that you check the tree stand twice a day to make sure it has plenty of water in it. Many Christmas tree stands don’t hold a lot of water, so replenishing will be vital. Consider purchasing a large stand, as a cut Christmas tree can drink up to one quart of water for each inch of stem diameter. A stand with a one-gallon capacity is recommended. Plain water is sufficient to sustain the health of the tree, so you do not need to feed it anything else.
Location, Location, Location
Where you choose to place your tree for the season is very important. Christmas trees will stay hydrated and healthy looking for longer if they are situated away from heat sources such as fireplaces and heating vents. Trees dry out if they are subjected to too much heat or fluctuating temperatures, and this can be hazardous. Sunlight can also make a tree dry out and fade more quickly.
Selling During The Holidays
If you are thinking of selling around the holiday season, you’ll want to stage your home so that it radiates that warm, festive feeling of Christmas. Decorating the house with a real tree can enhance the look and feel of your space by providing the authentic Christmas tree look, smell and feel. A warmly lit and decorated room is very appealing to buyers looking to feel at home in your space.