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Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D.

Make Your Own Christmas Tree Preservative

By November 28, 2013

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Christmas Tree (Getty Images)Thanksgiving and the last week of November are popular for putting up a Christmas tree. If you're going with a traditional cut tree, you can keep it green and healthy for a month by giving it a little care at the beginning. First, cut off the bottom inch of the trunk to provide a fresh surface for the tree to uptake water. You may want to spray the tree with an anti-desiccant to help prevent too much water loss through the needles. Make sure the tree has a lot of water when you first bring it into your home. Mixing Christmas tree preservative into the water can help keep your tree fresh for an extended length of time, but the most important step of watering the tree is to make sure it never dries out. You may want to make certain any lights in contact with the tree aren't hot. Obviously (I hope) don't position the tree near a lit fireplace. Similarly, try to avoid placing it the path of a heater vent.

I realize people who read this blog come from a variety of backgrounds, so a holiday tree isn't something everyone 'does', but if it's one of your traditions, I hope your tree is beautiful this year.

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November 27, 2009 at 4:52 pm
(1) Benton Jackson says:

I grow Bonsai, so I’m quite sensitive to the “moods” of trees.

One year we decided we had too many spruce trees in our yard, and cut one down and brought the top 7 feet indoors for xmas. Well, it started budding out. It didn’t know it was dead! I just about cried. We bought an artificial tree the next year.

I couldn’t bring a potted tree indoors either, because that would likely doom it. Trees need to be in dormancy over the winter, and bringing it indoors would wake it up off schedule. It might live, but it wouldn’t be healthy.

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