Having a real Christmas tree can be a great tradition this time of year. There are a number of places that sell Christmas trees here. Let’s talk about selecting a Christmas tree and Christmas tree care so that you can avoid a National Lampoon Christmas Vacation type situation.
Three trees grown in Georgia are firs, cypress, and cedar. Some things to consider when purchasing a Christmas tree are needle retention, strong limbs, fragrance, and dryness.
Before you even leave to buy your tree it’s a good idea to select and measure the space where you’ll be putting your tree. A good spot is away from space heaters, fireplaces, or wood stoves. Measure how high the tree can go in your house. It can be difficult to gauge if a tree is going to fit inside when you’re looking at it outdoors. Trees can appear small outside, and they seem to grow a couple of feet once you bring them inside.
When you are selecting your tree it is important to make sure that you get one that is fresh cut. A fresh cut means that the tree will be able to absorb water more effectively, and therefore not dry out as quickly. Once the trunk of the tree has dried out you can cut off the bottom ½ inch to establish a new fresh cut. You really don’t want your tree to be dry for more than 6-8 hours. When you are purchasing the tree give the limbs a good shake and see it many needles fall off. Then grab a branch of a tree and pull the branch through your hand. Ideally, you don’t want to see many needles fall off the branch. Also, check for off-color on any of the needles. If a bunch of needles doesn’t fall off and the needles are a good green color you know that you have a healthy tree.
A dry Christmas tree can be a fire hazard in a house. If your tree has a fresh cut it should be able to last the entire Christmas season without drying out if you keep it well watered. There should always be water in the tree stand. Keep the water level above the cut on the tree so that the cut won’t dry out and your tree is continually taking up water. Drilling a hole in the trunk does not improve water uptake. Using lights that put off heat will increase the drying of the tree. LEDS are a good option to reduce heat.
There are a couple of ways to dispose of your Christmas tree. You can use them for soil erosion barriers. If you have a pond you can sink them to create a fish habitat. Chipping them to use as mulch in the garden is another good option.
Real Christmas trees are beautiful and a sound environmental choice. Trees are recyclable, produce oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide.
We have great locations to purchase a real Christmas tree around here, and this is the time of year to shop local, so I encourage you to check them out! If you have any questions about Christmas trees contact your County Extension Office or send me an email at [email protected]. Merry Christmas and happy tree shopping!