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Christmas Tree Farm - Jarrettsville, MD
Choosing the Perfect Christmas Tree

Caring for your Christmas Tree

How to Care for Your Fresh, Farm-Grown Christmas Tree

Source: National Christmas Tree Association

When a Christmas tree is cut, over half of its weight is water. With proper care, you can maintain the quality of your displayed trees. Below are a number of tips relating to the care of displayed trees:

  1. Displaying trees in water in a traditional reservoir type stand is the most effective way of maintaining their freshness and minimizing needle loss problems.
  2. Make a fresh cut to remove about a 1/2-inch thick disk of wood from the base of the trunk before putting the tree in the stand. Make the cut perpendicular to the stem axis. Don't cut the trunk at an angle, or into a v-shape, which makes it far more difficult to hold the tree in the stand and also reduces the amount of water available to the tree.
  3. Once home, place the tree in water as soon as possible. Most species can go 6 to 8 hours after cutting the trunk and still take up water. Don't bruise the cut surface or get it dirty.
  4. If needed, trees can be temporarily stored for several days in a cool location. Place the freshly cut trunk in a bucket that is kept full of water.
  5. To display the trees indoors, use a stand with an adequate water holding capacity for the tree. As a general rule, stands should provide 1 quart of water per inch of stem diameter. Devices are available that help maintain a constant water level in the stand.
  6. Use a stand that fits your tree. Avoid whittling the sides of the trunk down to fit a stand. The outer layers of wood are the most efficient in taking up water and should not be removed.
  7. Keep displayed trees away from sources of heat (fireplaces, heaters, heat vents, direct sunlight). Lowering the room temperature will slow the drying process, resulting in less water consumption each day.
  8. The temperature of the water used to fill the stand is not important and does not affect water uptake.
  9. Check the stand daily to make sure that the level of water does not go below the base of the tree. With many stands, there can still be water in the stand even though the base of the tree is no longer submerged in water.
  10. Drilling a hole in the base of the trunk does not improve water uptake.
  11. Use of lights that produce low heat, such as miniature lights, will reduce drying of the tree.
  12. Always inspect light sets prior to placing them on the tree. If worn, replace with a new set.
  13. Do not overload electrical circuits.
  14. Always turn off the tree lights when leaving the house or when going to bed.
  15. Monitor the tree for freshness. After Christmas or if the tree is dry, remove it from the house.
  16. Go to www.realchristmastrees.org and type in your ZIP code to find a recycling program near you.
  17. Never burn any part of a Christmas tree in a wood stove or fireplace.

Prepared by Dr. Gary Chastagner and Dr. Eric Hinesley
Edited by the Scientific Research Committee of the National Christmas Tree Association


How to Care for Your Live Christmas Tree

Source: Better Homes and Gardens

Below are tips for caring for your live Christmas tree:

  • If you want a Christmas tree that can live in your yard, buy a ball-and-burlap or container tree.
  • Purchase your tree as close to Christmas as possible and keep in indoors for as brief a time as you can. You can keep it indoors for 7 to 10 days if you give it a cool spot near a window.
  • In cold-winter climates, dig the planting hole in late fall, before the ground freezes. Make it twice as wide as the root ball will be. Then, fill the hole with mulch and protect the excavated soil with a tarp.
  • When you buy the tree, place it in a garage or a shed for a few days to adjust to the warmer air. Display it in a watertight tub and place ice cubes on top of the root ball as needed to keep roots barely moist and cool.
  • After Christmas, acclimate the tree to cooler air by placing it back in the garage or shed for a few days.
  • On a mild day, place the tree into the hole. Backfill with excavated soil and tamp gently. Water deeply, then mulch heavily.
  • In harsh climates, evergreens are vulnerable to wind damage during their first winter. Protect your tree with a screen.
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Jarrettsville Nurseries
1121 Holy Cross Rd
Street, MD 21154
Phone: 410.452.8677

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