Christmas trees are beautiful—but they also take a lot of work to set up, decorate, and maintain. Nothing beats the joy of having a real Christmas tree in the house; the aroma of fresh evergreen really captures the spirit of the holiday season. Getting the most out of your Christmas tree is a great way to ensure that the festivities also last as long as possible and that you maximize the time and energy you’ve put into this magnificent piece of décor. With that in mind, here are some Gardzen-certified tips for making a real Christmas tree last longer. Let’s dig in!
- Start with the right treefor best results. This means a few different things: getting a tree that’s the right size for your space can make the tree easier to care for during its time in your home. It’s also best to choose a healthy, vibrant tree—one that still has health, flexible limbs and greenery and isn’t shedding needles already. A dried-out tree will dry out even faster in your house, creating a mess and shortening the life of your Christmas tree.
- Consider a live Christmas treefor a more sustainable and longer-lasting piece of décor. Some businesses rent living trees, which are dug up alive rather than cut down and re-planted at the end of the season. Some of them will even allow you to request the same tree next Christmas, which can be a fun way to celebrate as well. When the trees grow too large to transplant, they’re planted permanently as part of a tree farm and allowed to grow naturally, so everyone wins!
- Make sure your Christmas tree has plenty of water! From the moment it’s cut down or transplanted until the moment it leaves your home, your tree will need plenty of water to look its best. While you can’t control what happened to your tree before you got it, you can control what happens afterward. For living trees, follow the growers’ instructions for watering and tree care. For a cut tree, make sure you get it in water as soon as possible and keep it watered the entire time it’s serving as your Christmas tree. Trees may consume up to one gallon/four liters of water a day under the right circumstances, so keep an eye on its water supply!
- Keep it cool! Both live trees and cut trees will do best in relatively cool temperatures, so make sure that your thermostat is set appropriately in order to make your Christmas tree last longer. For the holiday season, this also means keeping your tree away from heat sources like heating vents, radiators, fireplaces, and space heaters as well as keeping it out of the sun. Heat sources can also become a fire hazardif the tree suddenly starts to dry out, making this step doubly important for holiday safety.
- Dispose of cut Christmas trees before they dry out in order to keep them looking their best as a Christmas tree and to avoid potential messes and safety hazards as they dry out. It’s best to end this particular part of the festivities a little too early than a little too late, so err on the side of caution.
- Recycle your cut Christmas tree when the time comes! There are a number of ways to do this—if you live near the coast, some organizations use defunct Christmas trees as way to strengthen sand dunes and prevent beach erosion. Some cities mulch trees and use that mulch in parks and public spaces. You can rent or borrow a chipper and turn your tree into mulch for your own garden, or use it as part of a hügelkultur With a little research and a little creativity, there are many better uses for your retired tree than a trip to the dump.
We hope these tips help you get the most out of your Christmas tree in a safe and sustainable way. By making a real Christmas tree last longer, you’ll help your home get the most out of the holiday season as well as celebrating in the best possible way.