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Choosing A Prefect
Christmas Tree

Tips and tricks for purchasing
a Christmas tree that will
last the season.

Purchasing A Tree

  1. Before you buy your tree, measure the height and width of the area in the room where it will be placed. Most trees are trimmed to an 80 percent taper, so your tree will be 80 percent as wide as it is tall.
  2. The Needle Test. Bend several needles on the tree to see if they bend and spring back. If the needle breaks or doesn't spring back into place, the tree is not fresh.
  3. The Bump Test. Lift the tree and then bump the bottom of the trunk onto the ground several times. If a large number of green needles fall out, the tree is deteriorating. Shaking may dislodge old needles that fell off naturally and were caught in the foliage. Don't rely on this test alone.
  4. Sappy Stem Test. If the stem appears moist and full of sap, the tree is fresh.

Keeping Your Tree Fresh

  1. Add Water. Before setting up a tree, place it in a bucket of water outdoors or in a cool place indoors. If the tree is stored outside, keep it out of cold, drying winds and the sun.
  2. Slice for Life. When the tree is brought in for decoration, make a fresh cut across the stem butt at least an inch above the existing cut. The cut should be smooth and clean for maximum water absorption.
  3. Keep Checking Water. The reservoir of the tree stand should be filled above the base of the stem. Trees sometimes use two quarts of water per day. If the reservoir goes dry, it will inhibit the tree's ability to absorb more water, even if the stand is refilled.

Keep It Clean

  1. Vacuum any needles falling on carpets. Green needles can cause stains.
  2. Apply commercial spot remover to any pitch stains. Use small amounts and blot with a clean, white cloth. Do not use carbon tetrachloride, gasoline or lighter fluid.
  3. Keep trees away from heat sources such as fireplaces, radiators, heater vents or television sets. Use fireproof decorations and light reflectors. Lights with brittle or cracked insulation should be replaced.
  4. Before using them on the tree, plug in all light sets to detect burned-out bulbs or short circuits.
  5. Don't overload electrical circuits. A typical tree strand with 36 bulbs adds 250 watts to the circuit. A 15 amp fuse is capable of handling 1,500 watts. If a fuse blows, it means the line is overloaded or it is attached to defective equipment.
  6. Never leave home without turning the tree lights off.

Back to The Christmas Nook

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