If you take a little time while picking out that live Christmas tree, you will keep it fresh throughout the season.
Extension Forester Dennis Adams with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln cautions that many of the live Christmas trees sold at retail stores or on lots come from northern states and can be dry.
Many companies brighten the green color of their trees by spraying them before they ship. Adams advises brushing the branches by running your hands through them to see if any of the green needles fall off. You can also tap the butt of the tree on the ground to see if needles fall.
“I guess another good indication is to see how flexible the branches and needles are,” Adams says. “Take a needle between your fingers and kind of bend it and if it snaps or is brittle than that’s an indication that the tree is dry.”
Once you get the tree home, make a fresh cut on the trunk of the tree.
“It doesn’t have to be a lot, a half an inch to an inch off the butt of the tree,” according to Adams, “because, when a tree is cut, it seals over with some of the resins and stuff. So, if you make a fresh cut then that’s going to open the pores in the stem of the tree.”
Give the tree plenty of water once you placed it in the stand. Keep the tree watered throughout the season.
Click here for more tips from the Nebraska Christmas Trees Growers Association.