How to Select and Care for Your Christmas Tree

Finding and caring for your fresh cut Christmas tree.

* Contributed by John Dudzinsky, Town of Herndon Community Forester.

When purchasing a Christmas tree for the holidays, one major concern is the freshness of the tree.

A lot of folks have a tradition of going to a Christmas tree farm to cut their own tree. This tradition guarantees freshness. Others will go to a Christmas tree lot and purchase a pre-cut tree. Here is where you need to be careful.

Take your time selecting a tree. When you pull one out, shake the tree and see how many needles fall off. The tree should only loose a small amount of needles. Also check to see if the branches are flexible and do not break easily when you bend them.

Tree height and variety is a personal choice. The top selling trees are balsam fir, Douglas-fir, Fraser fir, Scotch pine, Virginia pine and White pine.

When you have selected a tree and have taken it home there are few tasks to do before taking it into the house. First you need to make a fresh cut about one quarter inch from the base of the tree and then place the tree in a bucket of water or into your tree stand.

The tree stand should hold about a gallon of water. A fresh tree will take up about three or more quarts of water per day at first. Be sure to check it regularly.

Fire safety is extremely important. Do not place the tree near any source of heat. Check your Christmas lights before decorating to be sure they are safe and in good working order. If you leave the house or go to bed, be sure to turn the lights off.

After the holidays, be sure to remove tree from your home and do not store or place it against the house or garage. The Town of Herndon will recycle the tree.

Remove all of the ornaments from the tree and place the tree out to the curb on your regular trash day. Check the town’s website at www.herndon-va.gov in the coming weeks, for the dates they will be collecting the trees.

For more information on Christmas tree selection, care and where to purchase, visit the Virginia Christmas Tree Growers Association website by clicking here

Have a safe and happy Holiday season!

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