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Care for Your Fresh Cut Christmas Tree

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When a Christmas tree is cut, over half of its weight is water. With proper care, you can maintain the freshness of your farm cut tree from Thanksgiving to well past Christmas.

Drilling holes in the base of the trunk does not improve water uptake. Trees absorb water through the sap wood located just under the bark. Peeling or cutting the bark from the trunk of the tree will prevent it from absorbing water, causing it to quickly dry out.

1. Tree Stand - choose a tree stand that will hold at least 1 quart of water per inch of trunk diameter. The water consumption of a Southern Christmas tree like the Leyland Cypress, is more than other trees, so we recommend doubling the recommended size of water bowl.
2. Water Additives - If you use chlorinated water from a municipal water plant, you don't need to add any thing to the water. If the water comes from a well, algae growth can eventually plug the pores of the tree. Add one teaspoon of regular chlorine bleach to a container with one gal of water to prevent algae growth. Wait one hour before poring this water into the tree water bowl. (Don't add any other substance to the water.).
3. Make a fresh straight cut from the base of the trunk before putting the tree in the stand. Use water from the cold water tap to fill the stand. The temperature is not important after a fresh cut has removed any dry sap from the bottom of the trunk.
4. Check the water level daily to make sure it does not go below the base of the tree.
5. If the water level should go below the base of the tree or the tree stops using water, refill the stand with warm water. Warm water can help soften a small amount of dry sap and allow the tree to absorb water without requiring another fresh cut.
6. Keep the tree away from sources of heat (fireplaces, heaters, heat vents or direct sunlight). Lowering the room temperature will help to slow the drying process.
7. Use low heat lights, such as miniature or LED lights.
8. Always turn off the tree lights when leaving the house or when going to bed.