Freshness is most important when selecting your tree. The needles should be
resilient. Take hold of a branch and pull your hand toward yourself allowing
the branch to slip through your fingers. Needles should adhere to the branch
and not fall off in your hand.
Lift the tree a couple of inches off the ground, then bring it down abruptly
on the stump end. Outside green needles should not fall off in substantial
numbers. But remember, inside needles turn brown and shed naturally every
The tree should have a fragrance and good green color. A fresh tree will
retain its moisture content and thereby keep its fragrance and needles if kept
in a stand that has a good water holding capacity.
Care For Your Real Christmas Tree
When you bring the tree home, cut one quarter inch off the base of the trunk.
Keep the tree outdoors, standing in a container of water, protected from the
wind and sun until you're ready to decorate. This will help the tree retain
Place your tree in a stand and fill it with fresh water. If you allow the
water level to drop below the fresh cut, a new seal will form over the stem.
Display your tree in a cool place but out of a draft. Fireplaces, radiators,
television sets and other heat sources can prematurely dry your tree.
Remember: trees are very thirsty. They may drink between 2 pints to a gallon
of water a day. Use a water-bearing stand with a capacity of a gallon or more.
Check the stand daily and supply fresh water as needed.
Be sure that the light cords and connections you use on your tree or in other
holiday decorating are in good working order before hanging them. Never use
lighted candles on your tree. Unplug lights when retiring at night or leaving
Uses After the Holiday Season
Place your tree in the garden or backyard for use as a bird feeder; orange
slices, bread and suet will attract birds and brighten up the winter
A Christmas tree is biodegradable, its branches may be removed and used as
mulch in the garden. The trunk can be chopped for mulch.
Fir foliage can be stripped from the branches and snipped into small pieces
for stuffing into aromatic fir needle pillows.
In many parts of the country, people celebrate Christmas with a living tree.
The roots are kept in a "ball" of earth. The ball can be wrapped in
burlap or set into a biodegradable container or pot. The tree may be added to
the landscape after the holidays.