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Christmas Decorations Christmas is a hands-on art. From the lights we put on the house to the decorations we put on the tree to the great foods we eat in the process, Christmas is a time of doing -- and this is the place we gather to talk, plan and share.


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  #1  
Old 11-08-2008, 01:46 AM
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tree Tips for live tree?

Hi all!

Well, wanted to ask yall about live trees. Does anyone have any tips for having a live tree? Best time to get one, how long they last before they get dry, when to water, etc..
Dont know if we'll get a live one this year, but if we do, for one thing I want to especially make sure it doesnt turn into a fire hazzard.

Thanks!
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Old 11-08-2008, 06:13 AM
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The best advice I can give you is to make sure that when you buy the tree you tug a little at the branches to make sure there's not to many needles falling off. A little is ok, but not alot! And also the first few days the tree will drink alot of water, make sure you check every few hours and right before you go to bed and immediately upon getting up. After those first few days it will start to slow a little, but continue to check to make sure the level stays up in the tree stand. Do not put it near any heat source;fireplace, heat vent, etc. I hope this helps a little
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Old 11-08-2008, 06:20 AM
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I don't do the live tree thing but, a friend of mine does and he swears that if you drill a hole in the trunk from the bottom side up, through the middle just a couple of inches that it helps the tree absorbe water better. I don't know if that's true or not but, he's been getting them all his life.
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Old 11-08-2008, 06:51 AM
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We like to put up our tree early in December and leave it up until Advent on January 6 which then turned into "well we might as well leave it up until DS birthday on January 10" LOL.

That's why we go to a tree farm and cut our own. If that's possible for you I would highly recommend it. We take our tree out in January and it's still as green as the day we put it up. It's also a fun tradition for the family.

If you do get a pre-cut tree be sure to cut a couple of inches off the trunk before you put it in the stand because the sap will seal it up and it won't soak up water like it should. It'll drink a lot the first few days so check it a couple of times a day.

I love the scent of a fresh tree.

Joanne
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Old 11-08-2008, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by crmjmdm View Post
We like to put up our tree early in December and leave it up until Advent on January 6 which then turned into "well we might as well leave it up until DS birthday on January 10" LOL.

That's why we go to a tree farm and cut our own. If that's possible for you I would highly recommend it. We take our tree out in January and it's still as green as the day we put it up. It's also a fun tradition for the family.

If you do get a pre-cut tree be sure to cut a couple of inches off the trunk before you put it in the stand because the sap will seal it up and it won't soak up water like it should. It'll drink a lot the first few days so check it a couple of times a day.

I love the scent of a fresh tree.

Joanne
I agree - we always go and cut our own. We also buy the tree preserver mix they sell with the tree to put in the water - our daughter's job is to keep water in the stand by checking it every two days. That's very important!
I also have heard that if you mix corn syrup with the water, it helps preserve it better.
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Old 11-08-2008, 04:11 PM
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And be sure when you water it not to get sap in your hair!!

It's a pain to get out!
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Old 11-08-2008, 04:39 PM
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I don't have any useful advice since we can't have a real tree (allergies) but I wish you lots of luck if you choose a real tree!! I've always wanted one.
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Old 11-08-2008, 05:48 PM
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My MIL is a believer in Sprite,yes Sprite.what ya do is pour 1/4 of sprite in a bottle and pour 3\4 of water,it keeps the tree longer.Ive been doing this for about 11yrs and it works,she's been doing it since the 1970's.
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Old 11-08-2008, 05:54 PM
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I've heard adding Coke does the same so I'd say anything with syrup.
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Old 11-08-2008, 06:42 PM
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I always get a live tree. Here's what I've learned in about 25 years of buying trees off the lot:

Check for needles falling off when you shake it.

Bend upper branches to see if they feel elastic or stiff. If they're stiff and brittle, it's too old and dry.

Don't let them cut the bottom when you buy it, do it yourself when you get it home. You have a window of about one hour before the bottom starts sapping up and then it won't drink. You must get it in water within one hour. Cut an inch to two inches. If you have enough trunk, two is better.

DON'T put any kind of sugar, sprite, syrup in the water. They clog up the tree's ability to drink the water. All a tree needs is to stay moist on the inside. It doesn't need preservative or sugar, just water.
I learned this one the hard way. I had most of my lights on, and I use a lot of lights. the tree wasn't drinking. I called Captain Jack of "Christmas Tree Network" http://www.christmas-tree.com/ He is an expert on live Christmas trees. I asked him if there was anyway I could just drill holes in the side of the tree to allow the tree to drink. No. the tree would gum up worse where you drill. I had to take the tree down, resaw the end of the trunk off and get it in water. I asked him about the sugar water, sprite, preservative, etc. He said they add to the clogging up effect and to use water only. Ever since I followed this advice, my trees are fresh into January.

Don't let the water run out. The first couple of days you need to check it several times. After that check it daily.

I still use some of the large, C7 bulbs because I like the old fashioned look. They are warmer than the modern lights though. If you use any of them, it's a must that you keep the tree from drying out.

Try not to put the tree by a heat source or by a vent that blows the heat into the room.

Hope this helps.

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Last edited by Storeytime; 11-08-2008 at 06:43 PM. Reason: spelling
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