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5 tips for looking after your real Christmas tree

This year we did something we’ve not done before – we had our tree delivered in time for Advent Sunday. Usually we get a tree around mid-December but this year the plan is to be up and decorated by the start of December. A real Christmas tree is one of my favourite traditions, probably because I don’t feel it is in any way religious. It also occurred to me that the trees are likely to already be cut by now, regardless of when you actually buy it or have it delivered. So, I did some research into caring for your real Christmas tree and thought it might be useful to share some tips.

Pick the right tree…

I’m working with Pines and Needles on this post who delivered us the most beautiful 6 foot Nordmann Fir at the weekend. Nordmann Firs should last around 4 weeks inside when looked after properly and the one we were sent is gorgeously green and glossy. It was also a real treat having the tree delivered – what we lost in choosing our own was entirely made up for by not having to drag it home. Whilst they say the smell is not as strong as a spruce, it has a subtle Christmas smell which is noticeable every time we enter the room.

Real is better than fake: a real tree despite being cut down is actually better for the environment. Real trees absorb carbon dioxide from the air as they grow, as well as providing a habitat for wildlife. Artificial trees on the other hand are usually made from non recyclable plastic and fill up landfill once discarded.


Consider the tree’s position carefully…

If you want your tree to last from now until Christmas, think about where in the room you will position it, both from an aesthetic view point but also much like you would cut flowers – the tree will fare best away from radiators, heaters and air-conditioning units. Heat dries out the tree faster so cooler is better but it will also prefer to remain a constant temperature.

An ideal place is by a window which will help keep the tree cool – if it is a front facing window this also has the added bonus of looking welcoming from outside! We’ve put ours in our sitting room bay window on the side of the front door, so we can see it as we come up the path and up the steps into our flat.

Prep is key!

Before the tree goes in the stand, give it a good shake to get rid of dried needles and insects. Cut the bottom inch off the trunk – straight across, not at an angle.

Trees drink a lot of water which it will be able to do best prepped properly and is then stood upright in a water friendly stand.

We used a small pruning saw to remove the bottom of the trunk and we then stood the tree in a water holding stand. We then did nothing for the rest of the weekend to allow the tree to absorb water and also for the branches to drop into position so we could assess which angle we think it looks best from, but you could absolutely just get on and decorate it too.

Water frequently (& keep watering)

Use plain water, and don’t use soil or sand. Temperature of the water doesn’t matter, say Pines and Needles.

Each day so far I have topped up the stand with a large jug of  tap water. Don’t let the water level drop below the base of the trunk or else the trunk will seal up with sap and not absorb any more water (much like cut flowers).

The tree may drink 2-3 pints of water a day, depending on your room temperature settings.

LED lights

LED lights are less energy emitting, so will not dry out the tree as fast, which will help the tree last longer.

& decorate…

We now need to decorate and I’ll share some more photos over on Instagram in due course. I bought a few more decorations last week, we have our annual Liberty addition to add, and we are planning again to make our own orange and clove slices to hang which help make the room smell lovely.

Thank you to Pines and Needles for our tree, stand and delivery. Use code A110602R167211 for a free mini tree!


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