Categories: Holiday, Plants & Trees

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Christmas Tree Care

Fresh Cut Christmas Tree Care

Make a Fresh Cut

  • Make a fresh cut on the trunk to open up the pores which have been clogged by sap.  Cut off at least one-half inch. (If you purchase your tree from Moana Nursery, we will cut it for you at no cost)
  • The fresh-cut surface should be creamy-white, not yellow or brown.  If you do not make a fresh cut, the tree will not be able to drink water.
  • After the cut is made, put the tree in warm water as soon as possible.  The longer the time between when the tree is given a fresh cut and when it is put into the water, the less ability the tree has to absorb water.
  • Even if a hole is drilled to accommodate a pin-type stand, a fresh cut also should be made on the trunk.

Place Tree in Water

  • Place the tree in a sturdy stand which will hold at least one gallon of water.
  • Check tree stand for leaks.
  • Fill stand with water treated with  SUPERthrive (1/4 tsp. per gallon).
  • If the tree is not going into the house soon after the purchase, it should be stored in a bucket of clear water on a cool porch or patio away from wind and sun in warm climates and protected from freezing and wind in cold climates.

Water Daily

  • A cut tree will drink 65% of its water in the first week.  A good rule of thumb is that for every 1” of diameter, a tree will use a quart of water per day.  For example, a 4” diameter tree will use 1 gallon of water per day for the first several days.
  • An average tree may consume between a quart and a gallon of water per day.  Add SUPERthrive to each watering.
  • If the water level drops below the cut end of the trunk, a seal will form and no more water will be absorbed by the tree unless another fresh cut is made.  So don’t forget to add water every day.

Keep Away From Heat Sources

  • Place the tree away from heat sources such as heating vents, fireplaces, wood stoves, radiators, or sunny windows.

LED Lights Produce Minimum Heat

  • LED lights produce virtually no heat and reduce the drying effect upon a tree.
  • Always check light sets for frayed, cracked wire insulation & broken sockets before placing them on a tree.
  • Do not attempt to repair a worn light set.  Throw it away and buy a new set.
  • Do not overload electrical circuits.

Remove Tree Promptly

  • After Christmas, before the tree dies, remove it from the house for recycling or pick up by your local disposal service.
  • If the tree dies before you remove it from your house, dried needles will be extremely messy.
  • Never burn any part of a Christmas tree in a wood stove or fireplace.

Living Christmas Tree Care

Questions to consider before purchasing a living Christmas tree:

  1. Where are you going to plant it after Christmas? Most of the trees sold as living Christmas trees grow 40 feet or more so will need adequate space to thrive as well as the proper light and soil.
  2. Living Christmas trees should stay inside the home the shortest time possibleno more than ten days. Remember living Christmas trees have no warranty.  Spray with Bonide Wilt Stop before bringing inside to prevent drying out.  It will remove the blue green color, so if you have a tree with blue green needles, consult a Moana Nursery teammate first.

Care Tips:

  • Place the tree away from all heat sources, fireplaces, space heaters, heating vents, electrical appliances and televisions.
  • Water daily; add ¼ tsp. of SUPERthrive to each gallon of water. Constructing or buying an inexpensive siphon system will make it easier to continue watering once there are presents under the tree. A clear vinyl saucer will protect your flooring.
  • Decorate with LED lights, which give off less heat and are more energy efficient.

Planting Tips:

  • Plan ahead:  Dig the hole now before the ground freezes. Fill hole with straw or burlap and cover hole with plywood so no one falls in.  Keep soil and amendments in garage or shed so that they do not freeze.
  • It is important to not move your tree directly outdoors for planting.  The extreme temperature differential from indoor to outdoor could adversely affect the viability of your tree.
  • Move your tree to an unheated garage near a source of outside light for several days.  A carport or porch could be substituted in the absence of a garage.  The amount of time is dependent on the outside temperature.  Decrease the time if it is unseasonably warm.  Increase the time for extreme cold.
  • After the appropriate time in the garage, move the tree to a protected outside location close to the house.  The amount of time at this location is dependent upon the extremes in the weather.
  • Add one ¼ tsp. of SUPERthrive to each gallon of water when you plant the tree.  It is extremely important to water your tree the appropriate amount once it is in the ground.  This will vary according to the amount of precipitation and temperature.

If you have any questions, stop by any one of our three Moana Nursery garden centers or contact us online.

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