How to pick the perfect Christmas Tree and make it last - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

How to pick the perfect Christmas Tree and make it last

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We've seen them and likely, so have you.

There are many stores selling Christmas trees already.

KSFY News got some pointers on picking out and caring for your tree, to make sure it lasts through the holidays.

There's a conference of arborists in town this week so I figured what better group of people could I ask about taking care of a Christmas tree, than tree experts.

And since some trees for sale were cut in October or early November, you want to make sure that tree will last at least until Christmas Day.

When it comes to buying a Christmas tree, look for needles and the damage done.

Certified arborist Dr. John Ball said "first thing you want to do is go out there and shake the tree. And it doesn't mean hold it up over your head and shake it like this, but just shake it up and down and see if a lot of needles fall out. If a lot of needles fall out and it starts to look like a Charlie Brown Christmas tree, move to the next one."

And this is one time not to be afraid of needles.

"If the needles stay on, then take some of the needles and try and bend them a bit, and if they bend and they don't snap, then you've got a fresh tree," Dr. Ball said.

And consider all Christmas trees are not created equal.

"If it's a fir tree, and the sign will say balsam fir or such fir, those things have excellent needle retention, you could almost cut them in June and leave them up until Easter and they seem to last," Dr. Ball said.

But some trees, like spruce, are better off cut fresh before your eyes.

"That's a great tree to go to a local choose and cut. In fact I always recommend people do that and then you're assured of a real fresh tree, because unfortunately with spruce, they have a real short shelf life, you put them up now, quite often you're getting the needles in your socks in about another two weeks," Dr. Ball said.

But if your tree is already cut, re-cut the base of your tree once you get home.

"Put it in a tree stand, put a gallon of water in it right away, and the reason for that is you just reopened the pores, it will pull up about a half gallon of water in that first day or so, you re-hydrated it, and then never, ever, ever, ever, ever, let that tree stand dry out," Dr. Ball said.

And just to recap some of those tips...

  • Keep your tree out of direct sunlight or away from heat.
  • Re-cut the base by one inch before placing in tree stand.
  • Make sure the tree stand can hold a gallon of water.
  • Never let the tree stand dry out.
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