How to keep your Christmas tree alive LONGER!


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fireANDice
I am Glad I bought a Mac ! from USA
Member for 6 years 24 weeks
GuG-Points: 269

I love a real Christmas Tree!  We normally get our tree right after Thanks Giving, 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!  :)
 

Updated this year based on feedback from members and visitors:

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

  • When you 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  :(

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Anonymous (not verified)
Keeping the Xmas tree green longer!

Every year our tree turns into an ugly, dry, brown fire hazard weeks before Christmas! I'm going to try the hot water and keeping the sap off the stump this year and hopefully it helps.

Merry Christmas everyone!

PreservationSociety (not verified)
How to preserve a Christmas tree longer
I just happened to come across this while researching xmas tree preservation techniques and I must say, it boggles the mind the rationale for some of the previously mentioned ideas except for hot water. As some of you correctly pointed out, it is all about the sap that eventually seals off the tree from further water uptake. However, some of your ideas border on the ridiculous. DO NOT USE BLEACH!! Sodium hypochlorite will not preserve your tree, it will merely aid in the destruction at the cellular level. Salicylic Acid (Aspirin) will fail as well. I am shocked in reading this that someone hasn't suggested using the cure-alls (vinegar & baking soda) lol...hot water and fresh cut does the trick-no further interventions are necessary....
Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
Re: How to keep your Christmas tree alive LONGER!

Our Xmas Tree Lot explained that the trees are cut in October and placed into a COLD STORAGE facility (we live in So. Ca. and the facility is in Long Beach). According to some of the experts the tree can drink 1 qt/inch of trunk diameter/day. That means for about 56 days the tress have NOT had any water Sad So by removing 3-4 inches of trunk to access a fresh area seems accurate - also like the holes in the trunk with cotton balls theory because if the tree does produce sap to protect an injured area then the cottom balls can absorb the sap and the tree can still absorb water, last thought the warm/hot water to keep any "SAP" production limited and bacteria also sounds like it would work.

Jean - Southern California

Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
keeping your Christmas tree alive LONGER
Hot water works. Talked to a lot of people plus our tree last year was just hot water and sugar but not sure if the sugar was needed.
Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
Keep your Christmas tree alive LONGER
How water in the bowel and an aspirin always keeps ours alive longer.
Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
Re: Keep your Christmas tree alive LONGER
Hot water in the bowel......ouch!
Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
How to keep your Christmas tree fresh
The best way to keep your tree fresh is to cut the bottom inch off when you first bring it home, then make sure you keep enough fresh warm water and check it daily. No need to put aspirin, sugar or anything else in the water. And dont forget to recycle (for compost) your tree after christmas if you have a local recycler or if your waste management company has the option! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
Re: How to keep your Christmas tree fresh
Sugar (or corn syrup if you have it) and a little bleach in the water is all you need. Don't waste your money on that Tree Green stuff they try to sell to you at the xmas tree lot.
Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
keep xmas tree alive LONGER!
Every year I use hot water with a little bleach mixed in and the xmas tree stays fresh for weeks! I have tried asprin in the water but it didn't make a difference. Hot water and bleach is the best way to keep the xmas tree green longer!
Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
keep your Christmas tree alive LONGER!
We use hot water every year that that helps keep the tree alive.
Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
make xmas tree stay green
it worked but the other stuff works to
James Brady (not verified)
Re: How to keep your Christmas tree alive LONGER!
HOT WATER! It works. It keeps the sap gewy. We buy our tree day after thanksgiving and its well alive after new years. Not boiling, but HOT HOT HOT WATER
Anonymous Visitor
Re: How to keep your Christmas tree alive LONGER!
dont work Sad
Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
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!
Bruce9997
I am here to learn from others
Member for 4 years 22 hours
GuG-Points: 115
Re: How to keep your Christmas tree alive LONGER!

Well, for what it's worth, I would think that hairspray would turn gummy in water, and block the flow of water into the tree, but that's just my opinion.


_________________________________

B9997

animestrinity
animestrinity's picture
I am not telling from my own planet... keep off... no visitors.
Member for 7 years 26 weeks
GuG-Points: 6576
Re: How to keep your Christmas tree alive LONGER!

Hairspray only gets gummy when it dries (and builds up)... warm water dissolves gummed up hairspray, and if it doesn't get the chance to dry, it doesn't gum up.

But hairspray is super flammable.... so.... there's that...

Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
Re: How to keep your Christmas tree alive LONGER!
When they talk about hairspray, I believe they are talking about spraying the needles themselves, not putting it on water!!! LOL...But anyway, major fire hazard, please don't do this.
Bruce9997
I am here to learn from others
Member for 4 years 22 hours
GuG-Points: 115
Re: How to keep your Christmas tree alive LONGER!

Hmmmm - and needles from Christmas trees have been known to flame up just from too much heat from the lights that get put on Christmas trees.  "Tis a puzzlement.

Tenley (not verified)
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
Bruce9997
I am here to learn from others
Member for 4 years 22 hours
GuG-Points: 115
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.

Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
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?
Jess (not verified)
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
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Hubby
insert witty description here
I am a Grown Up Geek
Re: How to keep your Christmas tree alive LONGER!
Anonymous Visitor wrote:

what can i do? is it to late to help my tree?

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!

sunshine2000 (not verified)
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 (not verified)
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 Smile
Have a Blessed & Merry Christmas & Happy New Year !!!!

Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
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,.

Anonymous Visitor (not verified)
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.)

Niebr
I am the boy your mother warned you about
Member for 6 years 2 days
Re: How to keep your Christmas tree alive LONGER!

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

snazzy
I am the girl your mother warned you about from the land of dontgivadamn
Member for 7 years 13 weeks
GuG-Points: 1836
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 (not verified)
Re: How to keep your Christmas tree alive LONGER!

I am going to try all of these tips

thank you!

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