ThereвЂ™s nothing like having a fresh Christmas tree in your home for fragrance and beauty. Some of the best varieties for freshness and keeping quality are Fraser Fir, Douglas Fir; Balsam Fir and Scotch Pine. My favorite is Fraser Fir because of its long-lasting fragrance, beautiful pyramid shape, branch flexibility and needle retention. Regardless of what your favorite is, here are some tips to ensure that it stays looking beautiful and fresh throughout the Christmas season.
Make sure that when you select a tree the branches are pliable and not brittle. There should not be excessive needle drop when you shake it and it should appear fresh and green with no broken branches.
You should cut about an inch off the bottom trunk no longer than 1 hour before placing it in the stand. The trunk starts to seal up again after this time period preventing water uptake. Place the tree immediately in your tree stand (or in a bucket of cool water if you donвЂ™t plan on setting it up yet) and pour plenty of water in the stand. It is not necessary to use additives to the water. The important thing in preventing a tree from drying out and becoming a fire hazard is to give it a constant supply of water. Never let the reservoir become empty. A tree can use up to a quart of water each day for each inch of trunk diameter. So make sure your stand can hold enough for the size of tree you bring home.
For those of us who are concerned with saving our planetвЂ™s trees you may be surprised to learn that you may be actually helping the environment by purchasing or cutting down a live tree. Every acre of Christmas trees grown produces enough oxygen for 18 people to breathe. American Christmas tree growers alone produce enough trees to supply daily oxygen for 18 million people. And when growers cut down one tree, they tell us two more are planted in its place! In addition, the farms themselves provide wildlife habitats and aid in soil and water conservation.
After Christmas you can recycle your tree.. Many communities make mulch out of the trees and then offer it back to its citizens free of charge. You can also place your tree outside and make a decorative bird or squirrel feeder out of it all winter long by hanging strings of popcorn, suet cakes or peanut butter pinecones on it. If you have a large yard you may use your tree as a wildlife brush cover or cut off the boughs and use it to help tender garden perennials overwinter.
Whether you enjoy a day in the countryside cutting your own tree or have the fun of selecting one from a local nursery or roadside stand, having a fresh tree can be a wonderful addition to your Christmas this year