HOW TO KEEP A CHRISTMAS TREE ALIVE
1. GET THE PREP WORK RIGHT
Caring for your Christmas tree and ensuring it lasts for longer is all about the prep before you make the big purchase. Before leaving the house to go and shop for the perfect tree, take note of the space you have and make some measurements. 'Shop for a tree that will fit the amount of space you have at home,' says Keira Kay, Bloom & Wild plant expert. Be sure to consider the width of the space you have, as well as the height - as most trees are sold based on height only, so you’re left to gauge the rest on your own. 'I would suggest taking a measuring tape with you, always look at the tree out of its netting to see width before making a decision, and a good rule of thumb is to allow an extra foot between your tree topper and ceiling. So if you have 8ft ceilings, a tree up to 7ft would be suitable,' says Keira. A crowded corner for a tree that is too large is only going to decrease its likelihood of lasting the entirety of the festive season.
2. GIVE YOUR CHRISTMAS TREE A ROUTINE CHECK BEFORE BUYING
Have a good look and check the tree you like from several different angles. You want some dense branching so you can’t see too much trunk, a full and bushy mid-section, a clear leader stem for your topper, at least 30cm clear trunk at base, an attractive rich glossy color, and hopefully some good fragrance.
3. REMEMBER TO HYDRATE YOUR TREE
Make sure to give it a regular spritz. It might be cut down, but it still benefits from a bit of misting and helps the pines stay hydrated. Just be wary when spraying onto electrical decorations.
4. THINK ABOUT THE LOCATION OF YOUR CHRISTMAS TREE
You also want to be super careful about placement of your real tree. ‘Find a spot for your tree which isn’t too close to a hot radiator or open fire – too much heat can encourage the needles of your tree to drop too quickly or turn brown,’ says Joanne Lambell, founder of plant delivery service, Beards and Daisies. To keep your tree looking full and bushy, you could also consider using a humidifier to keep the air moist for extra longevity.
5. AVOID OVERBEARING CHRISTMAS TREE DECORATIONS
It’s wise to try to avoid overwhelming the tree with too many heavy Christmas decorations, as the weight can negatively affect the longevity of the tree, and make the branches dip down and then ornaments fall off. 'Opt for LED Christmas tree lights, with small bulbs, as larger lights can scorch or dry out the foliage and needles of the tree, meaning it’ll turn brown quicker. Be sure to always turn lights off before bed, as again, this is a fire hazard,' says Keira.
WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE WITH POTTED TREES?
When it comes to potted trees that are planted in soil and returned outside after the Christmas period, the ways you look after your tree differ slightly but not dramatically.