Few things feel as festive as decorating a real Christmas tree.
Selection and Care
You can purchase a pre-cut Christmas tree, cut one yourself at a local tree farm, or select a potted living tree. Before selecting your tree, be sure you know how much room you have. There's nothing worse than buying a Christmas tree that's too big for your home. When choosing a cut tree, look for signs of dryness or deterioration, such as excessive needle loss. Give it a gentle shake—if needles drop off excessively, the tree is probably too old and dry.
Before placing your tree in a sturdy stand, give the trunk a fresh cut so that it can take up water. Get the tree in water within a few hours of cutting, even if it means putting it in a bucket of water until you get a chance to put it up. Check the reservoir daily to make sure that it's full—you'll want to provide your tree with plenty of water to keep it green and healthy.
Christmas Tree Safety
Christmas trees are a beautiful holiday tradition, but without the right precautions, they can be a fire hazard. But with the proper care, a real tree can be safer than an artificial one. Keep your family safe by following these simple tips.
Select a fresh, green tree, and place it away from fireplaces, heating vents, and space heaters. Use only indoor lights, and check them for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, and loose connections. Replace or repair any damaged light sets.
Don't use more than three light sets per extension cord, and never use candles on a tree. Turn off all tree lights and decorations when you go to bed or leave the house.
The most important thing you can do to keep your tree safe is to prevent it from drying out. Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times. As fire safety engineers say, "A wet tree is a safe tree!"
Disposing of Your Christmas Tree
A Christmas tree brings greenery inside, smells wonderful, and provides a central focus for many of our holiday traditions. But when the holidays are over, what do you do with your tree?
Cut trees can go out by the curb with your yard waste for your waste disposal service to pick up and recycle. Check if any special steps are required. Some cities and towns will recycle the trees into mulch or compost.
If you bought a potted living Christmas tree this year, make sure you plant it! Pick a spot where it'll thrive, and where you can enjoy it from inside of your home. Learn more about taking care of and planting a living Christmas tree.