Christmas tree shopping is the BEST! Here are our five top tips for making sure that your tree stays as fresh and beautiful as when you first saw it for the whole of the Christmas season.
1) Know where your tree comes from.
The fresher the tree the better it will last. We talk about ‘Christmas Tree Miles’. If your tree has come a long way it may well have been cut several weeks earlier. If possible find a local grower. Some growers, like us, even let you choose the tree from the field and cut it for you on the day you wish. If you are shopping somewhere where the trees are not freshly cut then ask the supplier to cut a few centimetres off the bottom of the tree. The base will have sealed with sap and you need the tree to be open at the base to keep the tree fresh.
2) Care for your tree.
Your tree needs water to survive just like cut flowers. Accept that your tree is a living thing. Probably the reason why you chose a real tree and not an artificial one is because you like the vibrancy, texture, smell and sense of excitement about it. Trees can ‘drink’ up to a pint of water a day so make sure you have a stand that you can put water into regularly. Hint: If you have children we often suggest that they do the watering. They fit under the low branches to reach the stand, they quite like the responsibility and, let’s face it, you are probably too busy doing all the important things at Christmas to remember!
3) Your tree does not ‘do’ cosy.
If your tree is in front of a radiator then turn the radiator off. It has spent its whole life outside including in wind and rain, maybe even snow. It will find the sauna-like atmosphere of your living room really difficult. For best results place it in a cool room or a conservatory. If, like us, you just want it to be right in the heart of your Christmas in your living room then be aware that it will take its toll. So be conscious of how early you bring your tree into the house.
By following the guidelines above your tree should look wonderful for several weeks. If you really can’t wait and want to buy your tree early then we would suggest standing it outside, upright in a bucket of water, until you are ready to bring it into the house. Never store it in a garage or shed with a concrete floor as it will suck all the moisture out of the tree. We call this ‘Tree Cruelty’! This applies to both the traditional and non-drop varieties.
5) Clearing up!
We always put a rug or throw under the tree stand. It means that we are covered on several fronts. If our ‘little helper’ has been over enthusiastic with the watering then we have something underneath to soak any spillage up. Also when we finally have to say goodbye to our tree, any needles that have dropped can simply be gathered up and shaken outside. Job done!
So it must be time to put those Christmas songs on, break out the mince pies and let’s start decorating!