Picking out the perfect Christmas tree - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Picking out the perfect Christmas tree

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We spoke with Jerry Baumgartner with Baumgartner's Trees in Sioux Falls. He says this Summer was tough on the trees. He says many Christmas trees got very dry on the inside, causing some trees to lose their needles faster than they usually do. Baumgartner says he doesn't have that problem at his shop because he gets his trees from North Carolina. He says there's no reason you shouldn't get a real Christmas tree this year if that's what you like, but you do need to pay attention and realize a Christmas tree can be a fire hazard if cared for improperly. Baumgartner says a good trick is to give a branch a pull. If you pull off a bunch of green needles then that tree is already pretty dry.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA,) says hundreds of fires are started by Christmas trees and Christmas lights in homes every year. The NFPA says shorts in electrical lights or open flames from candles, lighters or matches start tree fires. They say well-watered trees are not a problem but a dry and neglected tree can be.

Experts say needles on fresh trees should be green and hard to pull back from the branches, and the needles should not break if the tree has been freshly cut. The trunk should be sticky to the touch. Old trees can be identified by bouncing the tree trunk on the ground. If many needles fall off, the tree has been cut too long and, has probably dried out, and is a fire hazard.

The NFPA says don't put your tree close to a heat source, including a fireplace or heat vent. The heat will dry out the tree, causing it to be more easily ignited by heat, flame or sparks. They also say keep cigarette ashes away from the tree and don't leave the tree up longer than two weeks. They also say keep the tree stand filled with water at all times.

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