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Coastal 101 | Home & Garden

Christmas Tree Tips & Tricks

December 8, 2016

Top Tips to Trim Your Christmas Tree

Decorating a Christmas tree is easy. All you need to do is bring the box of ornaments out and let the kids have at it.  Today, we’ll be covering something more important: how to trim your tree before it comes into your home.

Buy Fresh (or Cut it Yourself)

Some parts of the Northwest issue Christmas tree permits. If your town offers this, go out and get a permit and find your own tree. Your family will love the adventure. But if not, just be sure to look for a fresh tree with needles that snap like a small carrot.

Cut the Trunk

Whether you buy it from a stand or go cut your own, you’ll want to saw a couple inches off the bottom of the trunk when you get home. This will allow the tree to drink as much water as it needs to stay green.

Trimming the Branches

Try not to trim too many of the upper branches. Instead, focus solely on the bottom 6 inches of your tree. You’ll want to remove those branches carefully to ensure your tree fits easily into your tree stand.

Prop it Up & Water it

Once you’ve cut the trunk and trimmed up some branches, immediately put your tree into a watering stand. Be sure the trunk is entirely submerged. Check the reservoir on your tree stand several times to make sure the water does not go below the trunk. If it does, you’ll need to trim the trunk another inch and possibly trim more branches.

Coastal Tip: A freshly cut tree can drink a gallon of water a day for several days.

Leave it in the Garage (or Shed) Overnight

When you get home, shake out your tree and bang the trunk on the ground with a good bit of force. This will get any critters out of the tree. As for the insects, mites, or spiders, just leave the tree in the garage overnight. Those bugs can become active once they come into the heat of your home. The warmth of your garage should be enough to coax them out.

String the Lights

Now that the tree has been sitting in water in the garage for a night, you can string the lights. If you can, use LED or other low-energy options. This will keep your electricity bill down.

Bring it Inside

Once you’ve found the perfect spot, keep it watered. Just be sure you don’t put your tree next to an open fireplace or wood stove for obvious reasons.

Take it Outside

When the holidays are finally over and the decorations all put away, take your tree outside and prep it for disposal. Some areas allow you to put your tree into your yard debris container, while others will do a roadside pickup. Better yet, see if a local Scouts troop is picking up trees for a small fee.

The Holidays are Here

You’ll find everything for everyone on your shopping list, including the kids, pets, and spouse. Stop by your nearby Coastal Farm & Ranch and get everything you need to add some sparkle to your country Christmas.

Debunking Tree Myths

Adding aspirin, soda, bleach, alcohol, or sugar to the tree’s water will NOT help it last longer. In some cases, those items can actually kill the tree faster.

Drilling a hole in the bottom of your tree will not encourage it to drink more water.

The temperature of the water does not help your tree stay green.

At the end of the holidays, don’t put your tree in a wood stove or fireplace. The pitch in the tree can cause creosote buildup.

Fake trees are not better for the environment. Last time we checked, real trees were a renewable resource while artificial trees were made of non-recyclable plastic and metal.