For most households, getting a real Christmas tree to celebrate the festive season is a symbol of family holiday tradition and nostalgia! It is a fun activity to do in December, too, especially if you have young children at home. Families get together around their Christmas trees to decorate them with colorful ornaments, pine cones, warm lights, and loads of gifts.
Most people see real trees as more eco-friendly than plastic ones, and perhaps the only downside of having a real Christmas tree is that it will not last forever. Just like caring for your indoor plants, you need to regularly hydrate your tree to preserve its bushy foliage throughout the holidays.
So, should you mist your Christmas tree? Definitely, yes – and this article will explain why.
Do I need to mist my Christmas tree?
Most Christmas trees can survive for at least five weeks. This means that, with proper care, you can enjoy a live Christmas tree in your living space even beyond the holiday season!
However, to keep your tree looking fresh and alive throughout the festivities, you need to ensure that it receives enough moisture, just like your indoor plants. Otherwise, you will end up with a dried-up tree before Christmas morning arrives!
So, does misting a Christmas tree help?
Misting is one of the effective ways of boosting humidity and keeping your Christmas tree hydrated. The tiny water droplets can prevent the foliage from drying and falling off, which also means less frustrating mess to deal with every day!
So, go ahead and fill your garden spray bottle with room-temperature water and use this to spray the tree’s needles once or twice daily. Make sure that the Christmas lights are unplugged when you do this, to prevent electrical accidents.
While misting provides an easy and cheap solution to keeping your Christmas tree fresh, you can also use a humidifier to maintain moisture in the room. These devices are especially helpful during the winter season when indoor air tends to be drier. By boosting the humidity level in your home, you can provide the conditions your Christmas tree needs to stay in good shape throughout the holiday season!
Other tips to keeping a live Christmas tree fresh
Aside from regular misting, there are some other things you can do to ensure that your Christmas tree lasts for several weeks. We recommend you follow these tips to enjoy your Christmas tree throughout the holiday festivities:
1. Choose the freshest Christmas tree you can find
The best way to ensure you get the freshest Christmas tree is to take a trip to the nearest tree farm and cut your own tree. Unfortunately, not everyone has this opportunity, but do not worry – you can still find a fresh tree in your local shop by purchasing one that is newly shipped.
You may also ask your local seller where the tree came from and for how long it has been on the lot. You can check the freshness of the tree by pulling some of the needles: if they fall off easily, then the tree is likely going to lose more needles before Christmas morning. Keep in mind that most Christmas trees are cut at least a week before being put up for sale.
Lastly, we recommend choosing Christmas tree varieties like Fraser fir and pine trees, as they tend to last longer than spruce trees. You do not want to end up replacing a dried-out tree a few days before Christmas!
2. Keep your tree well-hydrated
As mentioned, the key to keeping your Christmas tree fresh for longer is to ensure it is well-hydrated. Aside from misting and using a humidifier at home, you should also water the tree from the bottom.
Unfortunately, trees that are cut a week or more prior to being sold tend to have dried-over resin at their base, and the closed-up vessels and hardened sap can prevent the absorption of any water.
To make your Christmas tree able to absorb water again, we recommend cutting about half an inch off the base of the trunk to remove the healed part. The fresh cut will allow your tree to draw up as much water as it needs to keep itself alive for several weeks. The golden rule is to fill the tree stand with one quart of water per inch of the trunk’s diameter. You will also need to check the water level daily and refill as needed to ensure your Christmas tree stays as hydrated as possible.
We do not recommend adding corn syrup, sugar, aspirin, or bleach to the water, as none of these additives make any difference. Your Christmas tree simply needs fresh water to stay alive and prevent its needles from dropping off.
3. Place your Christmas tree away from heat sources
Heat sources such as heating vents, furnaces, wood stoves, heaters, fire places, and open windows with direct sunlight can make your Christmas tree dry and brittle very quickly! If you do not want to vacuum up lots of falling needles every day, then make sure your tree is placed in an optimal location away from any of these heat sources.
Open flames are also extremely dangerous, as they increase the risk of fires. For your safety, never light candles near the Christmas tree! Also discourage pets and young children from playing around the Christmas tree to prevent electrical-related fire accidents.
Is my Christmas tree too dry?
Dry Christmas trees are not only unappealing, but also a fire hazard.
So, how do you know if your Christmas tree is too dry? If you have properly cared for your live Christmas tree, it should last around five weeks (or more) before completely drying out.
You can gently run your hand over the branch to see if the needles have become brittle and are falling easily. If this is the case, the tree has become too dry and it might be the right time to take it down. You can research eco-friendly solutions or inquire in your local town about disposal options. You do not want to keep a dry Christmas tree for too long or you will spend most of your time vacuuming up the fallen needles!
When it comes to preserving family holiday traditions, getting a real Christmas tree is a top favorite. However, there are both pros and cons to keeping a live tree indoors throughout the holidays. Freshly cut Christmas trees require care and regular hydration to make them last longer.
Misting is just one of the methods you can use, but there are also other tips you can follow to ensure that the leaves do not become too dry or brittle. Consider the tips mentioned in this guide and you are sure to have a beautiful Christmas tree to enjoy with family and friends for the duration of the Yuletide season.
Image: istockphoto.com / Oleksandr Shchus