How to Keep your Christmas Tree Fresh
and prevent needle loss
Over recent years, scientists at the Forestry Commission discovered that it is possible to encourage a CUT Christmas tree to drink water and so prevent the drying out process that leads to the tree droping needles. Even without roots, the tree continues to drink water via pores in its bark and therefore stays fresh despite the effects of central heating. The Christmas tree takes up water by capillary action in the same way as a cut flower. Just like a cut flower, it is absolutely essential that you put your tree in plain water (not a soil or sand mix) and keep that water topped up throughout the Christmas period.
Care of the Christmas Tree
- A Christmas tree should be treated like any cut flower or plant being brought into a warm, dry atmosphere. If you are not erecting your Christmas tree immediately, store your tree in a cool, wind-sheltered spot.
- Just before (up to 3 hours) you put up your Christmas tree, saw off the bottom one inch (3cm off) of the trunk. This will open up the pores in the bark to allow water to be taken up but the tree via capillary action.
- As soon as possible after this, stand the Christmas tree in plain water, not soil or sand, in a bucket or a water holding stand.
- Try to place your Christmas tree in its water-holding stand away from any direct heat.
- Keep the Christmas tree stand topped up with water every day. Christmas trees may drink 2-3 pints of water a day. It is essential to keep doing this as once the water drops below the trunk, sap will reseal pores in the tree’s bark and prevent the tree from taking up any more water.