Christmas tree: Expert shares advice on caring for trees
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With the festive season fast approaching, many Brits will start to put up their Christmas trees. But keeping your tree looking fresh over the Christmas period can be a struggle. Here are five expert tips to ensure your tree looks its best throughout December.
The last thing anyone wants is to see a dishevelled Christmas tree, but within a few weeks after cutting, real trees can quickly begin to dry out and drop their dead needles.
Not only does this cause a huge amount of mess, but it can also look unsightly.
With a small amount of attention, trees should last at least five weeks or more after being cut.
That means if you’ve eagerly decorated your tree in late November, it should still look perky past December 25.
Mary Dimitrova from Fantastic Services has shared her expert advice with Express.co.uk to ensure your tree looks its best throughout the season.
What tree should you choose?
If you haven’t picked your tree yet, it’s worth opting for a locally grown, freshly cut Douglas or a Nordmann Fir, as these tend to last the longest before withering. These trees typically last around five to six weeks after being cut.
Ms Dimitrova recommends Britons steer clear of Norway spruces as these have the quickest needle drop rate among all Christmas trees.
It’s essential to pick a tree that hasn’t become dehydrated. Ms Dimitrova said: “Pick a tree that’s heavy when you lift it.
“If it’s light even though it looks sturdy and heavy, then it’s dehydrated and won’t last the holidays.”
She added: “The best way to tell if a tree is freshly-cut is to check for sap. If you see sap leaking from the bottom, then that’s your tree.”
Another tell-tale sign of an old tree is the presence of brown spots and quickly shedding needles. Be sure to do a shake test before you commit to a cut tree.
If only a few needles drop when you tap the base of the tree on the ground, then it should be fresh enough to buy.
Let your tree adjust to room temperatures
When you first buy your tree Ms Dimitrova recommends you give the tree some time to get used to indoor temperatures.
If possible, put your tree in a cool room (ideally without heating) for a few days before moving it to the room where you intend to keep it for the holidays.
This will ensure the tree has acclimated to your indoor temperatures.
Keep watering your tree
Even though your tree has been cut, it will still require regular watering to keep its leaves from dying.
Typical trees need around one litre of water per three cm of stem diameter.
This means a fresh cut tree can consume four to five litres in 24 hours.
Make sure the stump of your tree is constantly submerged in water if you want your leaves to last longer.
Position your tree in the correct part of the room
It can be all too tempting to put your beautifully decorated tree in front of the window for all to see, but trees will last longer if they are kept in cool dark conditions.
Ms Dimitrova recommends putting your tree in a dark corner, ideally away from any radiators, as these can dry out your tree, causing its needles to fall off.
Choose your decorations carefully
Lights are a go-to Christmas tree decoration but certain kinds can dry out your tree.
Ms Dimitrova said: “It’s always better to use LED lights when it comes to decorating. They don’t release heat and won’t dry out your Christmas tree.”
She added: “As for baubles and other decorations – don’t rush decorating the tree. Give it some time to settle in your home and open up its branches.
“If you water your Christmas tree regularly, you don’t have to worry about the size and weight of the baubles and ornaments; just don’t clutter them too close.”
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