How to keep your Christmas tree alive LONGER!

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fireANDice
How to keep your Christmas tree alive LONGER!

2015 Update: We have edited this post based on feedback from visitors:

I love a real Christmas Tree!  We normally get our tree right after Thanksgiving, just to discover the tree is almost dead a week before Christmas.
I've done the aspirin in the tree water.  Still didn't last.
I've tried sugar in the water,.... still no good results.
Even with always making sure the Christmas tree had plenty of water at all times, the tree still became brittle and needles fell not long after being brought home.
 
Was there a solution for keeping a Christmas tree alive longer?
 
We were at a new Tree Farm last week just to look.  Sad to say we are not getting one this year until a week before Christmas, due to a trip to California.
 
So I decided to ask them their thoughts on the subject of keeping the tree alive and fresh longer.
 
They said that the problem is the tree sap.  It acts as a scab on the end of the tree which keeps the water out eventually.  And the same with sugar.
The solution?
HOT WATER.  Keep your christmas tree filled with hot water, (not boiling!) and it will keep the sap gooey so it won't form a hard scab and clog it!
You will have to keep up on it though,... when the water gets cold, the tree sap will start to harden.
 
I'm anxious to try it and see how long it lasts.  If you try it, let me know how things go!  :)
 

The best ways to keep your Christmas tree green, fresh and alive longer -

  • When you first get the tree home, cut off the botom inch or so off the tree
  • Hot water:  Hot water in the tree's water bowel will help it to stay fresh
  • Place the Christmas tree away from sources of heat and moving air (ie; heater ducts)
  • Cut off the tree's dead/sick looking branches
  • Bleach in the tree's water (just about a spoon!)
  • Sugar in the water
  • 1 asprin, smashed and dropped into the water, add one more every 2 days with more water
  • Hairspary on the tree (be carful, it's messy, keep away from heat and flames!)
  • The best way to keep your Christmas tree green and fresh looking: Buy a plastic one  :(

Please post your tips for keeping your tree fresh below!

Scroll to the very bottom of the page to type in your comments. It is not necessary to enter your name or email address

LynnH
Re: How to keep your Christmas tree alive LONGER!

 When you bring your tree home, you need to cut a "fresh" cut at the stem.  It's hard telling how long the tree has been cut down and by cutting it you are opening it back up.  The old cut has stared to clog by healing over or drying up if you will.

 Never let the tree run out of water.  Once it does, it will be much harder for the tree to start absorbing water again.  Which means, as troublesome as it may be, it is necessary to do another "fresh" cut.

 Think of it this way, you bought the tree from a lot more than likely.  The tree was laying there with all the other trees.  Not a lick of water in sight.  That's why it's important to re-cut it.  Trees are like flowers in a vase, they need constant water.  And the first time you water it, it will probably drink a whole lot, so keep checking it.

 That's all I  know about that.

 Lynn

 

If I was standing on a fish, I'd slip and fall......

Anonymous Visitor
Re: How to keep your Christmas tree alive LONGER!

So did anyone follow through with this method? Did it work?

Anonymous Visitor
Re: How to keep your Christmas tree alive LONGER!

Use a teaspoon of bleach per gallon of water and your tree will stay fresh. Yes, I've done it. But you must be careful not to get any on the carpet because it will bleach it out. The last fresh tree that we used this on was up for a month and just as fresh when we took it down as the day we put it up. You must cut about 2 inches off the bottom before setting it in the stand first. The bleach kills the bacteria in the water that caused the "film" to form on the trunk closing the pores of the tree. Have you ever noticed that when you first put the tree up that it uses a lot of water? Then after about a week it hardly uses any and the tree starts to get brittle. That's because a film forms on the bottom of the trunk and the tree can't absorb water any longer. The bleach prevents this. Hope this helps.

fireANDice
Re: How to keep your Christmas tree alive LONGER!

Ohhh yes. We always buy a tree that we cut ourselves, but they still seem to die quickly. (Sorry, should have put that part in there.)

That's why I thought it was interesting to find out about the hot water. It makes sense, the tree is trying to repair itself by oozing sap in the hurt area (in this case, the freshly cut end!) which clogs it. Then the tree can't get water.

Hot water should loosen it up, and help keep the fresh cut tree watered longer.

:)

Thanks for the advice!

Anonymous Visitor
Re: How to keep your Christmas tree alive LONGER!

Man so glad I live in Oregon where the trees grow and we cut them down. No problems holding out till Christmas when we get ours here... I was looking for fun and online people buy trees for 300-400 dollars for a 5 and a half footer! Everywhere here someone knows a tree farmer and we get free ones!

Oh i should have offered a tip before explaining how blessed I was to live in Oregon... BUY A NOBEL FIR TREE they keep the longest. The grand fir and the douglas firs dry out more quickly...

Anonymous Visitor
Re: How to keep your Christmas tree alive LONGER!

cut it as fresh as possible. drill holes into the trunk and straight up the trunk to help absorb water. add aspirin to the water and keep away from heaters and fires. they will make your branches dry out faster. they also have tree nutrients packages. try a local nursery.

Anonymous Visitor
Re: How to keep your Christmas tree alive LONGER!

I am going to try all of these tips

thank you!

Niebr
Re: How to keep your Christmas tree alive LONGER!

i always thought bleach would have a reverse affect than helping,

snazzy
Re: How to keep your Christmas tree alive LONGER!

i think its just enough mixed into the water to keep bacteria from growning in the water and then infecting the plant.

Anonymous Visitor
Re: How to keep your Christmas tree alive LONGER!

Make sure to cut about an inch off at the base of the trunk of a fresh tree & keep in very warm...borderline hot (but not boiling) water...this keeps the sap from hardening resulting in a longer life---supposedly this only works for about a week or so, then just keep it watered daily. The fellas at our tree lot gave us this tidbit...so far it's great...hope it helps! (We got ours VERY early too...hoping it lasts thru the holiday.)

Anonymous Visitor
Re: How to keep your Christmas tree alive LONGER!

Bleach definately works, my old chem teacher used to do this and they kept their tree up for 3 - 4 weeks too. I just could remember the portion.

Thanks,.

sunshine2000
Re: How to keep your Christmas tree alive LONGER!

I bought a real xmas tree 2 weeks before Thanksgiving and it is now the 2nd week in Jan 2010 and it is still alive . It looks like it did the day we bought. all we did was cut abotu 3 or 4 in off the bottom and placed it in the tree stand and added hot water .. i added hot water about ever 4 to 5 days .. and the tree is still alive it is a pretty as it was the day i got it ...i was so afraid to get a real tree afaraid it would die before xmas but you caint kill this tree...i will have a real tree ever year now .. they smell so good ....hope this can help you ...

Jenn Kohr Zvorsky
Re: How to keep your Christmas tree alive LONGER!

Thank you very much!
We celebrate our regular Christmas on Dec.25th & my Husbands Grandfather Always used to celebrate the Russian Orthodox Christmas on Jan.7th! Once he passed on, we decided to keep his tradition going, so we have 2 to celebrate and our tree must last until after the weekend of Jan. 7th!!! There were so many ways I was told, but the one common thing was: HOT WATER & CUTTING AN INCH OR SO OFF BOTTOM!!!
So, again I Thank You So Very Much :)
Have a Blessed & Merry Christmas & Happy New Year !!!!

Anonymous Visitor
Re: How to keep your Christmas tree alive LONGER!
We got our tree and it was to heavy for me to put in the stand so i had to wait until my husband was able to do it and that wasnt for a day and a half later so im worried it got to dried out just sitting there for almost 2 days. It has been up for about 3 days now and in lots of water but it just feels so dry and is losing so many needles....what can i do? is it to late to help my tree?
hubby
Re: How to keep your Christmas tree alive LONGER!

[quote=Anonymous Visitor]what can i do? is it to late to help my tree?[/quote]

i dont think it's too late - Read thru and do all the tips already posted here, and I think there is still hope for it!

Jess
Re: How to keep your Christmas tree alive LONGER!
just cut the bottom of the stump like an inch or so for the fresh cut
Bruce9997
Re: How to keep your Christmas tree alive LONGER!

For what it's worth, I work at a Walmart that sells Christmas Trees.  We let the customer pick out which one he wants, then we do the following things:

 

We trim the lower branches to get rid of the scraggley ones.

We saw off about an inch from the bottom of the trunk (fresh cut).

We mesh wrap the tree, and help the customer load it into his/her vehicle.

We also advise the customer to place the tree in warm water, standing up, so the branches will "fluff out" for lack of better terminology, and you can crush up an aspirin or two to put in the water, and do that every time they add water (don't let it run out of water), a tablespoon of bleach will do roughly the same thing, (keep the sap from hardening on the bottom).  And it doesn't harm anything to dissolve a little bit of fertilizer in some hot water and add it also.

B9997

Tenley
Re: How to keep your Christmas tree alive LONGER!
Bleach may help keep needles on longer, but it can make your tree look sickly. Mythbusters did a Holiday special in which they tested a few Christmas tree care tips. Check out the results here http://mythbustersresults.com/special10
Anonymous Visitor
Re: How to keep your Christmas tree alive LONGER!
Mythbusters says hairspray is better than bleach, aspirin, and a bundle of others they tested. Anyone have any experience with it? until we know i would stick with bleach though, it is reported to help in all the ways written above, and is less of a fire hazard than the hairspray >=P Thanks!

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