• Ane from Boomerang

How to Keep Your Christmas Tree Fresh Over the Holidays

For those who celebrate Christmas, one of the biggest symbols of the holiday is the Christmas tree. It’s the centre of attention in your home, something you and your family take the time to decorate, and a landmark you can gather around come Christmas morning. Growing up, it’s what your kids remember the most. So many of our memories and stories about Christmas during our childhood revolve around the tree.


In other traditions such as Hanukkah, symbolism also plays a big role. The menorah, which is a candelabra that holds nine candles, is meant to represent the number of days that the Second Temple lantern blazed in Jerusalem following the Maccabees victory over the ruling Syrian Greek army in 165 B.C. The candle actually burned for eight days, but the ninth candle referred to as the shamash, is used to light the others.


There are so many wonderful celebrations happening this time of year with symbolism that dates back thousands of years. The Christmas tree is something many of us identify with, and if you purchase a real Christmas tree, you know it takes a bit of TLC to keep it from drying out. We give you a few pointers on what you can do to prevent any damage.


How to keep your Christmas tree thriving over the holidays


It doesn’t take a scientist to keep your Christmas tree alive and fresh, but it does take a bit of effort and know-how. Try these tips over the holidays:


1. Water, water, water


Water is basically the key to life, but when caring for your Christmas tree, the first thing you need to do is put that tree in water to keep it from drying out. Ideally, you’d buy a tree with a built-in reservoir, but you’d be surprised just how much water a Christmas tree soaks up, so it’s also important to check on the water reserve regularly.


2. Watch out for heat sources

Nothing dries up a Christmas tree faster than too much heat. You should try to keep your tree away from direct sunlight, particularly if you’re living in warmer climates. Also, try to avoid placing your tree under heating vents. If possible, lower the temperature in the room that your tree is in. That should help slow the drying out process.


3. Trim the trunk


When a Christmas tree is first cut, it isn’t able to absorb water as easily. That’s because the sap seals the bottom to close the wound. If you cut your tree again when you first buy it, it restarts that process and is able to better absorb the water it needs to stay fresh. You only need to cut half an inch, but try your best to cut it straight. It will be harder for your tree to collect water and stand up otherwise.


4. Wrap the tree on the way home

Let’s step back for a minute. When you first buy your Christmas tree, you likely have to carry it home, secure it to the top of your car, or, if you're lucky enough, place it in the back of a truck. If you don’t cover the tree, especially if you’re travelling a significant distance, then the tree can actually start drying out before it even gets to your home. Ask the store you purchase your tree from to wrap it before you leave. They have the tools and supplies in place to help you get it home in great condition.


5. Train your pets to stay away


OK, we told you these tips were simple, but this one will take some work. Most pets love to play, and trees are an alluring playground, especially for cats. If you don’t want to wake up in the morning to a fallen tree with pine needles all over your living room, we suggest you get your pets accustomed to having that tree in your home by training them to stay away.


6. Take down your tree before it dries out

How many of you are guilty of still having your tree up come Valentine’s day? We get it. No one wants the holidays to end, but keeping up your tree for that long only increases the chances of it drying out. Do yourself a favour and take down your tree as soon as the new year starts, so you aren't left cleaning up a bigger mess long after the snow is gone.


7. Be careful of cords and light sources


The thing about real Christmas trees is that they catch fire. You need to be overly careful when exposing your tree to any kind of light, and that includes Christmas lights. Make sure the Christmas lights aren’t faulty or damaged in any way. As an extra precaution, turn off any lights around the tree before you go to bed. You don’t want to take the risk that it may catch fire.


Read more tips on how to care for your houseplants


Let’s celebrate the holidays together


There are so many celebrations happening this time of year. Kwanza is an African American holiday founded in 1966. It starts on December 26 and lasts for seven days as a reflection of the complicated history of Africans in America. December 25 is also the birthday of Krishna, the Hindu god, and we already mentioned Hanukkah. The beauty of the holiday season in Canada is being able to appreciate the traditions of other cultures in addition to celebrating our own.


Boomerang understands the importance of community. We’ve been able to create a community built around our workshops. When you sign up for Boomerang, you’re signing up to learn new skills, explore new ideas and connect with other members who share your interests.


View upcoming holiday workshops and events on Boomerang

This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.

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