More to Christmas Trees Than Meets The Eye
Every year we continue to warn you about how important it is to keep the trunk of your Christmas tree immersed in water thus keeping the branches moist and reducing the chance of fire. And before we’re finished today we’ll reiterate several other general safety precautions that may help to make your holiday season safer than ever.
In the mean time there are several important aspects related to the specie of tree that you purchase which can have a great deal to do with its aesthetic value and safety too. So, before you go shopping for this years tree here are a few tips on specie characteristics that may help you decide on the perfect tree for your holiday.
The first thing you absolutely must do is measure. Knowing the height, the width and the depth of the area where you anticipate placing your tree is really is important. Think about it. Forcing a tree against a wall can result in your biggest holiday mess. Most trees produce an abundance of sticky, hard to clean sap. By the way, keep sap drippings foremost in your mind when deciding on how much protection to place on carpets and other adjacent floor coverings.
When it comes to tree shape you may not necessarily need to get a perfectly shaped tree that is beautifully trimmed and “full” all the way round. For example: if you intend to place your tree against a wall you might save money purchasing one with one flat side. It will not only save pruning time and energy, but you’ll probably be able to purchase such a tree for considerably less than a “perfect” one.
- If you’re looking for a tree with a strong scent look for White Fir, Fraser Fir or Balsam Fir. If allergies are a problem you may want to stick with an Eastern White Pine (a specie with a milder aroma).
- Some trees are known for retaining their needles through the holiday season. The Colorado Blue Spruce, Fraser Fir, Balsam Fir, Eastern White Pine and White Spruce experience very little needle loss.
- The Norway Spruce is a needle dropper and may have you sweeping or vacuuming almost daily.
- The Noble Fir and the Scotch Pine are “ones that last” making them popular to say the least.
- Don’t forget branch strength. Heavier ornaments will work better on a tree with sturdy branches.
- Trees with sharp needles should be avoided if you have small children or pets. Ouch!
“A dry tree is nothing short of a mini forest fire looking for a place to ignite.”
You probably will want your tree to last about 4- to 6-weeks, so it pays to test your prospective purchase for freshness. First give it the bounce test. Holding the tree about 2-feet above the ground and in a vertical position let it drop on the base of its trunk. If it doesn’t loose a substantial amount of needles chances are it is reasonably fresh. By the way, some needle loss is normal. Excessive loss is not. If the tree is too large to pick up then give it the shake test instead. Simply stand it on its trunk and shake it vigorously. No matter how much you liked the tree in the beginning don’t take it home if it drops a big bunch of needles. A dry tree is nothing short of a mini forest fire looking for a place to ignite. We told you that there was more to a Christmas three than what typically “meets the eye”.
We also promised we’d share a couple of good old standby safety tips. Let it not be said that we don’t keep our word. As we mentioned a moment ago freshness at time of purchase is everything. And keeping the tree fresh once you get it home is equally important. To accomplish this your tree must be allowed to drink plenty of water during its stay with you. Here’s how to insure that it can. Be sure that your tree stand will hold at least a gallon of water. Just before placing the tree in the stand use a saw to slice about one-inch off the bottom of the trunk. It is imperative that a fresh section of trunk be placed in the water — immediately. Hurry, you will have only moments between the time you “slice” the trunk and the time before it begins to reseal itself. And remember, during its first hours in the stand the tree can initially drink a quart of water in an hour or less and a gallon or more within its first 24 hours. Expect to feed your tree about a quart of water each day – more or less. Be sure not to let the end of the tree become exposed as it will immediately reseal itself and will no longer be able to absorb liquid. And, good luck!
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