Christmas Tree Care
by Brenda Hyde
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Christmas trees can be beautiful, whimsical, enchanting or they can be dry, brittle and appear ready to burst into flame at any second. Admit it, we've all forgotten to give the proper care to our lovely Blue Spruce and the needles have practically jumped off the tree. It really doesn't have to be that way if you follow this list of easy to remember tree tips:
- Buy your tree the day you are going to set it up, so it doesn't dry out while everyone decides where to put it. If you must buy ahead, then put it in a shed or the garage in a bucket of warm water until you are ready for it.
- Cut about an inch or so off the bottom of the tree and trim any stray or long branches that are bent or hanging away from the main part of the tree.
- When you do decide to place your tree make sure it's not in front of a heating vent or any source of heat, such as a television or other appliance.
- Water, water and more water! DO NOT let the water level go below the base of the tree. Recruit everyone in the house to check it on and off throughout the day. Make a game of it and put up a colorful chart with each family member's name and who is suppose to water the tree each day! Let the motto be "The Christmas Tree won't dry out on my day!"
- Don't waste time and energy on adding things to your tree water. I researched this and there is no proof that corn syrup, bleach or any other additive prolongs the life of the cut tree more than clean, fresh water on a daily basis. The key is NOT to let the level fall below the end of the tree base. It should be covered at all times. Your tree stand should hold at least 1/2 gallon or more of water. If you have a tradition of adding corn syrup or bleach to your water there is probably no harm in doing so. Do be careful that kids and pets are kept away from any toxic additives such as bleach.
After you have your beautiful tree set up please be cautious of several things:
- Check all light and extension cords to make sure they are not broken or frayed.
- Do not use candles near your tree.
- Be sure the tree is secure! I have more than one horror story of trees falling over. ( Sorry Mom, I know I said I would never mention it again!) Take precautions again frisky dogs and busy kids.
- Never leave the house or go to bed with the tree lights plugged in.
Christmas Trees are one of my favorite Christmas traditions. Whether your kids choose an orphan Charlie Brown tree or you bring home King of the Trees to surprise your family, they are all special and unique to each Christmas celebration. Take of your tree, decorate it with love and creativity-the memories will live on forever!
Brenda Hyde is a wife and mom to three who lives in the winter wonderland of Michigan. Visit her at OldFashionedLiving.com for more holiday traditions, crafts and cooking.
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