Forester offers tips on keeping holiday trees fresh

· 2 min read

Forester offers tips on keeping holiday trees fresh

Christmas is just around the corner and for some families that means the hunt for the perfect tree has started.

Each year, 25-30 million American households enjoy a fresh Christmas tree, said UNL forester Dennis Adams.

Freshness is important to consider when selecting a tree.

“Gently stroke the needles,” Adams said. “If green needles drop off, the tree is not fresh.”

Another test is to lift the tree and strike the butt on the ground. If there are large amounts of green needles falling off, it might be wise to select another tree, Adams said.

Once a fresh tree has been selected, steps should be taken to keep it fresh.

If the tree is not going to be erected soon, keep the butt end in a pale of water in a cool, protected area such as a garage until it is ready to be placed in the home.

Saw a half inch off of the tree butt straight across (not at an angle). This will remove clogged pores that prevent the tree from taking in water.

Mount the tree in a sturdy stand that holds plenty of water.

“Add water daily to keep the stand filled,” Adams said. “A Christmas tree may absorb a gallon or more of water daily for the first few days depending upon size and condition.”

If the tree is allowed to dry out, it may become a fire hazard.

“A fresh tree is no more combustible than a fresh flower,” Adams said.

After the holidays, the tree can be used as firewood or a winter bird feeder. Boughs may be used for mulch for flower beds.

For a list of Nebraska grown trees, go to….

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