Keep your Christmas tree fresh through New Years with tips from plant scientists – DNyuz

Keep your Christmas tree fresh through New Years with tips from plant scientists

Once you’ve picked out the perfect Christmas tree, there are three things to remember when it comes to making it last through the holidays: fresh tree, fresh cut, fresh water.

“That’s really the key thing in all of this, is to get a tree that’s fresh,” Bert Cregg, a professor in the Department of Horticulture at Michigan State University, told Business Insider.

Here are a few steps you can take to make sure your tree looks as good as the ornaments throughout the holiday season.

Find a fresh tree

When you’re inspecting which tree to take home, Cregg recommends doing a pull test. “Take your thumb and forefinger and kind of pull along the chute,” he said. “You shouldn’t have needles coming off in your hand.”

Cregg said Fraser and Noble firs are both known for their needle retention. He said that if you properly care for [your tree], you should not have problems.

Give the trunk a fresh cut

Both experts said before you put the tree in its stand, saw off about an inch from the bottom of the trunk. Workers on the tree lot might do it for you. This is especially true for trees shipped in from other parts of the nation.

Once a tree is harvested, it may take a couple of days before it arrives at a store. “Removing any of the grime or resin that’s accumulated to open up the vasculature is important,” Justin G. A. Whitehill, lead of the Christmas Tree Genetics Program at North Carolina State University, told BI.

Clearing away that residue “makes it easier for the tree to take up water,” Cregg said.

Provide plenty of fresh water

Keeping your tree hydrated is crucial. Whitehill advised, “Get your tree in fresh water as soon as you can.”

Both Whitehill and Cregg said trees can suck up a lot of water in the first week or so. After that, you won’t need to refill the container as often.

“We suggest the stand hold around a quart for each inch in diameter of the tree trunk, where the cutting is,” Cregg explained. A 7-foot tree may have a 3-inch diameter, so a suitable stand should hold 3 quarts (0. 75 gallons) of water, for example.

In this case, you may want to go for substance over style. “Oftentimes it’s actually the less expensive, plastic stands that hold more water,” Cregg said.

If the stand runs dry, it can be difficult to get the tree to take up water again, Cregg said. That’s why it’s important to keep checking the water level.

Just use tap water

Maybe you’ve heard about adding aspirin, soda, or bleach to your tree’s water supply. Cregg says that’s not necessary. “The research has shown just fresh tap water is all people need to do — and plenty of it,” he said. “Just keep that reservoir filled.”

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