December: Cut Christmas Trees

Selecting a cut tree is usually a matter of personal aesthetics. You want the "perfect" tree, of course. You also want a fresh tree. Test for freshness by bending a major branch. It should be pliable and less than 5% of the needles should fall as you bend the branch. When you reach home with your purchase, cut 2" off the bottom of the trunk to re-open water channels. Immediately set the tree in a container which holds 1-2 quarts of water. Floral preservative, available at your garden center, added to the water will increase the longevity of your cut tree. The night before you bring the tree into the house, place it in your garage where partial heat will allow the branches to relax a bit . . . making it easier to decorate the next day. Do not allow the water in the tree stand to empty at any time. Cool temperature, indirect light, and sparing use of the tree lights will all help to preserve the beauty of your cut tree.