There is nothing quite like a real Christmas Tree to create warmth and beauty to your home during the holiday season. If you’re getting a real Christmas tree this season you’ll want it to last through all the ho-ho-hos and tidings of comfort and joy. Here are some tips to make sure your Tannenbaum doesn’t become a tannen-bummer.

Choosing Your Tree

According to the Arbor Day Foundation, the best way to ensure the most beautiful Christmas tree is to cut your own from a local farm or to have one cut for you. By going to a local tree farm you know it’s going to be sustainable and trees will be replanted ensuring a selective harvest. Of course, if you buy from a local farm you’ll also help preserve local jobs and open space, and you’ll cut down on shipping costs and in turn the carbon emissions of a lengthy transport.

Staying true to our commitment to provide residences and businesses on the North Shore with environmentally conscious lawn and plant health care solutions we recommend a local tree farm that offers organic trees, to help reduce the use of pesticides. Check localharvest.org for a list of local Christmas tree providers across the country.

If you are buying a pre-cut tree from a nursery or store ask them how recently they were harvested, and where they came from. If you aren’t impressed with the answers, shop elsewhere. Also, inspect the tree yourself by feeling the needles: they should be flexible, not dry and brittle. The fresher the tree, the longer it will beautify your living room.

Taking Care of Your Tree Right Away

Once you have your tree, it’s important to start taking care of it right away. It is suggested you wrap your tree in a plastic tarp to protect it for the journey home.

If you bought a pre-cut tree, it’s important to make a cut across the bottom, removing an inch or an inch and a half off the bottom. The reason for this is, once it is cut, the sap in the tree will start sealing over the base and this will hinder its ability to absorb water. This process takes about three hours so as long as you live reasonably close, you can ask the retailer to make the cut for you before you ride off with your new tree.

h2o For Your New Purchase

As soon as possible, get the tree in water. When you get home, place the tree in its stand right away. If you are not going to trim it right away place it in a bucket with water. In order to keep the needles fresh, the base of the cut tree should never be allowed to dry out.

If for some reason your tree does end up getting dried out in its stand, you can try drilling some shallow holes at the base and refilling with water.

Keep It Safe!

Make sure to keep your tree away from direct sunlight, heaters or fans. It is no surprise these will speed up the drying process. It’s been suggested that you might even use a room humidifier. This can help the needles stay fresher longer and even more importantly reduce fire risk.

While we are on the topic of fire risk, it is important to make sure your tree lights are in good working order. The newer LED holiday lights decrease fire risk because they stay cooler. They are really inexpensive too! Obviously, make sure to keep any open flames away from the tree.

When The Party’s Over

With good care, a Christmas tree can easily stay fresh for a month or even longer.

When the Holiday season is over please don’t just toss it on the curb, it will end up taking landfill space. Recycle it! There are many programs that collect Christmas trees and turn them into mulch.

What Exactly Do I Do With It?

In Newburyport:
Christmas Tree Collections will take place on regular trash day during the month of January only. Trees over 6 feet must be cut down in size. Bring wreaths to Crow Lane Yard Waste Facility or Recycling Center.

For More Information download the 2016-2017 City of Newburyport Environmental Health Information Guide

Starting A Recycling Program:
If you don’t have a Recycling program nearby why not think about starting and promoting your own… For information on how to start and promote a recycling program in your area, please contact the National Christmas Tree Associations website or send an email to info@realchristmastrees.org

And Just For A little Fun Check Out This Infographic on the History of Christmas Trees.