Scientists have tips for people whose Christmas trees aren’t looking as fresh in the house as they did on the lot, and they may be different than what you’ve heard before.
A Penn State University report says there are many articles that “often contain erroneous information” regarding Christmas tree care and handling.
The PSU Department of Horticulture lists the following pointers that can help troubleshoot tree/water issues:
▪ If the tree is to be stored more than a couple days before display, place the trunk in water and store it in a cool, shaded and protected area like a garage.
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▪ If the tree has been cut in the past 12 hours, there’s no need to recut the trunk before placing it in an indoor stand. But if it has been more than 12 hours, the trunk needs to be recut to improve water uptake.
▪ Cut off a ¼”-thick disk from the base of the trunk for trees past the 12-hour mark. The cut should be perpendicular to the stem rather than a V-shape, which reduces water uptake and makes it more difficult to secure the tree in a stand.
Moisture is the primary care concern for a tree inside a home. Forestry experts at N.C. State University recommend watering trees regularly after purchase and avoiding high temperatures.
“Sprinkling or misting the tree with water will also help retain freshness, but the tree should not be soaked,” the report said.