When a Christmas tree is cut, typically more than half of its weight is water. With proper care, you can maintain the quality of your displayed tree. Below are care tips by Gary Chastagner and Eric Hinesley of the National Christmas Tree Association:

– Place the tree in water as soon as you get it home. Most species can go 6-8  hours after cutting the trunk and still take up water. Don’t bruise the cut surface or get it dirty.

– If you must store it for several days, keep in a cool location and place the freshly cut trunk into a bucket kept full of water.

– Just before placing in a tree stand, make a fresh cut to remove a 1/4″ to 1″ from the base of the trunk. Make the cut perpendicular to the stem.

– Once indoors, use a stand that can provide a quart of water for each inch of stem diameter. Devices are available that help maintain a constant water level in the stand. Use a stand large enough to fit the tree. Do not whittle the trunk to fit the stand, as the outer layers of wood are best at taking up water.

– Keep displayed trees away from fireplaces, heaters, heat vents and direct sunlight. Lowering the room temperature will slow the drying process, resulting in less water consumption each day.

– Check daily to keep the level of water above the base of the tree.

– Use lights that produce low heat, such as miniature lights, to reduce drying of the tree.

– Do not overload electrical circuits to light the tree.

– Turn off lights when leaving the house or going to bed.

– After Christmas or if the tree is dry, remove it from the house.

– Never burn any part of a Christmas tree in a wood stove or fireplace.

– When you are finished with your tree, recycle it.

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