Taking Care of Your JP Total
Fresh Cut Christmas Tree
Cut, live trees are the most common type of
Christmas tree and great care needs to be taken to preserve their freshness. A
fresh cut tree can stay healthy for several weeks if it is well cared for ...
So, follow these hints and precautions and you'll preserve the unique beauty and
tradition that only a real Christmas tree can provide.
If you are not setting up your tree right away hold off on
the fresh cut till you are ready to display.
Store the tree in water if possible and out of the sun and
Make your fresh cut no longer than ˝ hour before putting
your tree into the stand.
Keep water in your stand at all times and check often,
especially our trees. Our trees are so fresh that they tend to drink water very quickly.
Try to place your tree away from direct heat sources and
Water, water, water—never let your stand dry out. Fill your stand with water
only and a high quality tree preserve.
Here are a few more tips courtesy: Cooperative Extension, University of
Nebraska-Lincoln, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
- When you receive your tree, remove it from
the box as soon as you can, but leave it in it's wrapper if it has one - this will aid you
later in setting the tree in the tree stand.
- Before you set up your tree, make a fresh,
straight cut across the base of the trunk about an inch up from the butt end to
aid in water absorption and then place the cut end into a container of plain tap
water water quickly.
- If the tree is not to be put up right away,
still cut an inch or so off the end, place the tree in a bucket of water and
store it in a protected, shady, and unheated or coolest area. Then when the tree
is ready to be set up, saw another slice off the butt end to insure water
- Try to use a sturdy stand (see
our gift shop page) with a large water reservoir so the tree won't dry
out. The reservoir should hold at least 1/2 gallon of water - a 1 gallon or more
capacity is even better.
- When you are ready to set up your tree, hold
it in the middle with the wrapper still on, and place it in the tree
stand. Adjust the tree stand screws or wires so that the tree is square and
secure in the stand. When this is done, start at the top of the tree and with a
pair of scissors, cut the wrapper from top to bottom. Allow the tree branches to
unfold naturally, do not force them. Let the tree unfold at its own pace for 2
to 3 hours, then you can help the branches open by gently grasping the branch at
a point toward the center of the branch and gently apply downward pressure until
the branch is open. Repeat this procedure in a circular fashion around the tree
from top to bottom. The tree will be completely unfolded within 24 hours.
- A fresh Christmas tree will absorb as much as
a gallon of water or more in the first 24 hours after the new cut is made, and
one or more quarts a day thereafter depending upon the temperature in the room
and the number of lights and ornaments on the tree. Water is important because
it prevents the needles from drying and dropping off, the boughs from drooping
and it keeps the tree fragrant.
- Check the water level in the reservoir and
add water daily. A tree is beginning to dry out if its water use slows or stops.
A seal of dried sap will form over the butt end of the tree in four to six hours
if the water drops below the base of the tree, preventing the tree from
absorbing water later when the tree stand is refilled. When this happens,
another fresh cut should be made, however, this is usually impractical once the
tree is decorated. So, keep the tree watered.
- Keep the tree away from heat and draft
sources such as fireplaces, TV's, radiators, and air ducts. And, of course,
never have open flames on or near a Christmas tree.
- Before hanging lights, test your light cords
and connections and inspect the string of lights for cracked areas and broken or
empty sockets and repair or replace as needed. Also, be sure to unplug the
lights before you go to bed or leave the house and never overload electrical