As December draws near, many people are eager to start decorating their homes for the Christmas season. If you decorate with a live Christmas tree, follow these tips for keeping your Christmas tree healthy over the holidays.
If you purchase a pre-cut tree, saw 2-3 inches off the bottom of the trunk before setting the tree in water.
When trees are cut down the pitch or sap oozes out and seals the pores. By sawing off the base, you will open up the pores and the tree will be able to absorb water.
If you purchase a fresh cut tree and set it up within 24 hours there is no need to saw off the bottom of the trunk. However, if 24 hours or more has passed, then sawing off 2-3 inches of the trunk is required before setting the tree in water.
Water is critical. A freshly cut tree can consume a gallon of water in 24 hours, so it is critical to check the water level in the tree stand every day and keep it filled. Never let the water level fall below the tree’s base.
Indoor trees need to be kept away from heating ducts or other heat sources. In fact, the lower the temperature, the better the tree will do.
An urban legend is to add aspirin or sugar to the water, however, there is no scientific evidence supporting this practice.
Buy a freshly-cut tree from a reputable Christmas tree farm when possible. Freshly-cut Christmas trees are farmed specifically for their purpose and support local agriculture.
If purchasing a pre-cut tree, avoid one that has needles that fall off easily when running your hands along the branch. If they do, this is a sign that the needles will continue to drop and its aesthetic appeal has been compromised. This may lead to a poor-quality looking Christmas tree for the holidays.
The top-selling Christmas tree species in South Carolina are Murry Cypress, Leyland Cypress, White Pine, and Carolina Sapphire.
Real Christmas trees can also be recycled. Christmas trees can be used as soil erosion barriers for shorelines stabilization and sedimentation management. Trees can be sunk into private fish ponds to make refuge and feeding areas for fish. Christmas trees can be placed in the garden or backyard and be used as bird feeders. Real Christmas trees are biodegradable making them an excellent source for mulch that can be used in the garden or as a natural path material on a trail.
To locate a locate a Christmas tree farm in South Carolina visit the South Carolina Christmas Tree Association’s webpage: www.scchristmastrees.org
Clemson Extension will be having their annual fruit tree fundraiser. If you are interested in an order form please call the Extension office at 843-774-8218 extension 0.
For more information on Christmas trees, please visit the Home and Garden Information Center website at hgic.clemson.edu. Tune in on Tuesday nights to watch “Making it Grow” at 7 p.m. on SCETV or mig.org. E-mail Outen at [email protected]
Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to people of all ages, regardless of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital or family status and is an equal opportunity employer.