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Smarter Home: Christmas tree care 101

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The Tuesday before Thanksgiving, they arrive. They line them up along the sidewalks. Big ones, medium ones, tiny ones just right for a studio apartment. I'm talking Christmas trees. Since there are no tree farms or lots in the city, the tree sellers set them up right as we walk to school or to work...I have to say, it makes the streets pretty jolly.

Whether you head to the woods and chop down your own or grab it from the tree dude on 78th Street and Columbus Avenue, picking out your tree is one part, but keeping it healthy at home until after Santa's arrival is another. Christmas tree 101 is what we have today!

-- Shake, shake, shake. Before you load the tree onto the car (or taxi cab), give it a good shake or two. This helps get rid of the dead (or almost ready-to-drop) needles outside and not in your living room.

-- Cut, cut, cut. Unless you want to do it yourself, have the tree dude cut off a bit of the base of the trunk, about one-half to one inch. A straight cut is the best as it allows more water to be absorbed.

-- Water, water, water. Get that tree into water ASAP when you get home, even if you aren't putting it up yet. From that moment until you dispose of your tree, be sure the stand is filled with water.  (A note about the water - many say you should add certain things to your water to keep the tree healthy for longer...that isn't the case. Studies -- some quite professional and others just by trial and error -- all conclude you just need plain water. Cold or hot? Again, there is debate. Some say cold is fine, others note that the warm water allows for better absorption. Regardless, check the water levels and keep that stand filled.)

-- Location, location, location. By all means, pick a location for the tree where it will be the safest, not the prettiest. Set it up in a place far away from heat sources...that means not by the fireplace, not by a heater or a vent. Same goes for what you place on the tree. Those twinkly-blinky lights need to be safe and checked over each year for frays.

Do you have your tree yet? Do you get a real or fake one? How do you pick the right one? 

© Prill

by on Dec. 4, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Replies (11-20):
by on Dec. 4, 2012 at 9:34 AM

 We always got a real one, but DH always complained about it catching on fire, and then last year he told me that he knows it's an irrational fear, but that as a child, a friend's home burned down, starting with the Christmas tree. We got an artificial one, and the surprise is-I love it. It's prelit and it was so easy putting it up, no branches prickling my arms and hands as I decorated it, and it's beautiful.

by on Dec. 4, 2012 at 10:34 AM

 we have a fake tree

by on Dec. 4, 2012 at 10:46 AM
We have a fake one, but it still sheds!
by on Dec. 4, 2012 at 11:00 AM

 I do an artificial tree

by on Dec. 4, 2012 at 11:01 AM

We have a fake tree but these are great reminders. 

by on Dec. 4, 2012 at 12:03 PM

This year not yet...We buy a tree tag and head to the mountains and pick a tree to cut down...Brian cheats and brings a chainsaw..

by on Dec. 4, 2012 at 12:08 PM
I have a real one. we choose ours by size and strength. obviously we choose one the correct size for our living space, I check the branches to make sure they are strong and can support the ornaments. for lights we use LED lights, they don't get hot like the others.
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by on Dec. 4, 2012 at 12:12 PM
We got a real one. We gave it a shake. They cut the bottom and I water it every day. It is very dry this month. Its not in the way and it is away from the heater. The lights are brand new as well.
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by on Dec. 4, 2012 at 12:20 PM
We went to the tree farm this past sun and cut it down.
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by on Dec. 4, 2012 at 12:29 PM

Our tree is fake.

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