There are people who love Christmas, and then there are people who really love Christmas. You know the type: They're wearing Rudolph sweaters the day after Halloween, give out candy canes to people at work, and sing "Jingle Bells" well into February. If you are one of these people, I admire you. I wish the whole world was filled with pure, festive souls like yours, and I want to help you continue to be the Christmas angel you are by helping you make your Christmas tree last from Thanksgiving to Christmas.
My hunch that your Christmas tree will be up before Thanksgiving if you love St. Nick as much as you claim. And if it will be up, that means you've got to keep your tree alive for over a month this year. This feat might sound intimidating, but I believe the combined powers of plant-care and Christmas magic can help you accomplish this task. You didn't put up all those ornaments and name the tree Buddy just for it to wilt before Santa can come down the chimney.
So Christmas lovers, read on for the best tips and tricks for making your tree last longer, and get excited for the holiday spirit to fill your house all December long.
1. Ask When The Tree Was Harvested
As Today's Homeowner points out, Christmas trees generally only last about a month to begin with, so it's important to ask whomever you're buying the tree from when it was cut. If you get a tree that's been sitting around for two weeks, you're already fighting a losing battle.
2. Recut The Trunk
You might be thinking "but the tree was already cut, so why do I have to do this?" The answer is because a fresh cut will help the stem soak up as many nutrients as possible, which makes the tree live longer, advised Clark. You can either get the stem recut at the tree farm you buy it from, or you can do it yourself at home.
3. But Don't Shave It
If you have a habit of shaving your Christmas tree's trunk to fit it into the stand you have, it's time to bite the bullet and get a wider stand. The National Christmas Tree Association (yes, it's a thing) explained, "the outer layers of wood are the most efficient in taking up water," so shaving it down will make it harder for your tree to drink up.
4. Keep It Away From Heat
It's pretty unfortunate we bring trees into our homes the same time we crank up the heat inside the home. All that forced air makes trees dry out like the desert. As Samuel Lyle, co-founder of Pines and Needle, explained to Business Insider, keeping your tree away from radiators, direct sunlight, and fireplaces will help it stay alive longer.
5. Skip The Sugar
That old wives tale about adding sugar, vinegar, or what have you to you tree's water doesn't actually do anything to help the tree live, according to Les Werner, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point associate professor of forestry who was interviewed in the Journal Sentinel. (I faithfully add sugar to my tree's water every year, so I found this discovery personally devastating). Just focus on watering with clean water, especially during the first week and a half, Werner advised, and you should be all set.
6. Water The Tree Diligently
This is an obvious tip, but it's amazing how many people forget to do it. Get the tree in water ASAP once you bring it home, and be diligent about keeping their water bowl filled. Here's another reason to make sure your stand is the right size: Your stand should be able to hold 1 quart of water per inch of stem diameter, according to The National Christmas Tree Association. Check the water once or twice a day to make sure there's enough in there for your holiday plant to get the fluids it needs.
7. Get A Fake
Sorry, I had to say it. There's no better way to make sure your tree will live through Christmas than getting one made out of plastic.