By Deborah Kearns, RE/MAX Senior Editor, Corporate Communications
When I think of real Christmas trees, the movie “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” comes to mind. The Griswold family traipses through the biting cold to cut down that ridiculously massive tree and haul it back home on the top of the family station wagon. And who can forget the line: “Looks great. A little full, lots of sap!”
Whether you traveled to the wilderness to cut one down, or went around the corner to the local tree stand (that gets my vote!), here are a few tips from the National Christmas Tree Association to keep that real Christmas tree fresh all through the holidays:
- Make sure your stand fits your tree and can hold enough water for the tree’s size. As a general rule, stands should provide one quart of water per inch of stem diameter.
- This is a given, but keep trees away from major sources of heat (fireplaces, heaters, heat vents, direct sunlight). You don’t want a burning bush for a Christmas tree.
- Lower the room temperature to slow the drying process. This helps the tree consume less water each day and keep it alive longer.
- Ensure the water level in the tree stand doesn’t get too low.
- Always turn off the tree lights (and other lit decorations) when leaving the house or before going to bed. This conserves energy and reduces the chances of your tree drying out.
- Monitor the tree for freshness. After Santa visits and the holidays are over, remove the tree from your home.
- Don’t trash it, though; recycle it! Visit the association’s Tree Recycling page to find a recycling program near you.
- Keep your vacuum on standby; you’re going to need it for those needles!