To keep your beautiful and aromatic Christmas tree “fresh cut” there are a few easy things to remember when setting it up in your home.
A fresh cut at the base of the tree is the key!
After the tree is cut on the farm, sap seals the wound within the first 4-6 hours. Before you bring the tree inside, make sure to do a fresh cut about an inch or so from the base of the trunk. This fresh opening gives the tree a better ability to absorb water. Flowerland staff will do a fresh cut for you and bale the tree, which is great, but only if you plan to bring the tree indoors right away (or you can place the tree in a bucket of water to prevent the cut from sealing). The key is keeping the base of the tree from “callusing over” because you want it to act like a straw drawing water from the tree stand bowl. It also helps to keep your fresh cut Christmas tree away from heat sources like a fireplace or furnace vent. This will keep the tree fresher and prevent excessive needle loss.
Make it easy to see if the tree stand needs to be refilled. That tree is thirsty!
Fill the tree stand with water as soon as you stand it up. It’s important to keep the water topped up and prevent the level from dipping below the base of the trunk. You’d be surprised at how thirsty a fresh cut Christmas tree can be and how fast they’ll suck a basin dry. If left without water for too long, you risk the tree sealing with sap and rendering it unable to drink more water. Add some ping pong balls or fishing bobber to the water in the bowl so at a glance you can track the level of the water in the stand. Don’t let it dry out!
After standing the tree, give it some time for the branches to relax and for the tree to acclimate in the room. Save the decorating for later, possibly 24 hours after standing.
Anti-desiccant sprays like we use on our broadleaf evergreens in the landscape is an option.
To cut down on shedding needles, some people spray their tree with an anti-desiccant. These act as invisible sealers to hold in moisture. Remember to spray the tree outside and let it dry before you bring it in the house, the spray is a pine resin and should dry on the needles before bringing inside to avoid a mess.
A continuous supply of fresh water to the tree is the key for full enjoyment all season long. We recommend the purchase of a tree removal bag when buying your tree. The bag would be put at the base of the tree when standing it up so that at the end of the season the bag can be pulled up to the top and secured making the trek out of the house in January efficient needle free and “house clean.”