How to care for a Christmas tree – our guide to maintaining the freshest centerpiece this festive season

How Do I Choose The Right Christmas Tree?

No matter how chilly a day it might be, don't grab the first Christmas tree you see. Instead make sure you choose a quality, healthy option to take home. Healthy trees will have a shiny, glossy green coating on the needles which feels slightly waxy to touch. You should also look for strong branches and a good needle retention when choosing a Christmas tree.

How Do You Bring A Christmas Tree Home?

First things first when you're bringing a Christmas tree home - make sure the interior of your car is clear so you'll be able to fit it in. Whether you're planning on putting the tree on the roof or inside, make sure you know in advance how much space you will have so that you choose the right size of tree.

What Should I Do Once I Get My Tree Home?

When you get your tree home, the first thing to do is remove the netting around the outside and leave it to stand for 24 hours to allow the branches to settle. Once it has perked up, if you are planning to put your tree in a water reservoir to help stop it drying out too quickly, saw off 1-2in from the stump. Then secure it within a sturdy Christmas tree stand, such as this one from Walmart, ideally one with a water reservoir. A Christmas tree skirt or collar will hide this if you would prefer to disguise its appearance.

How Should I Water My Christmas Tree?

The next step is to ensure your tree gets enough water. If you are placing it in a water reservoir, your tree may require up to 2 litres of water a day, depending on the temperature of the room. If you can, water your Christmas tree with filtered water or rainwater collected in a water butt or barrel in your yard. Your tree (and houseplants) much prefer rainwater, as tap water contains added minerals which can be harmful to plants.

How Do You Stop A Christmas Tree Drying Out?

Ideally, your tree should be nowhere near a radiator (and if it is, it would be a good idea to turn it off) or in a sunny, south-facing windows. Rachel, says overloading the Christmas tree with lights, which generate heat, will also dry it out faster. 'Smaller, LED lights will give off less heat and slow the drying process.

How Often Do Christmas Trees Need To Be Watered?

A Christmas tree needs watering every day to stay healthy, especially after you get them home – and for at least 10 days. For an average tree, use around five quarts of water per day – your tree will be particularly thirsty at first. Keep an eye on the wetness of the soil it's planted in or the water in the stand as time goes on and top up as necessary.

What Should I Do With My Tree After Christmas?

Once Christmas is over and you're ready to fully begin the new year, it's time to think about taking the tree and Christmas decorations down. Traditionally, one would consider Twelfth Night, on January 5th, the day to remove festive decorations and trees. When it comes to knowing how to dispose of a Christmas tree, our favorite thing to do with a tree once taken down is to recycle it. Check is there are any doorstop collections in your area. Another eco-friendly option is to use the tree for compost or mulch.

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