Friday, November 22, 2019

Christmas Tree Care Tips

Every year, there is always that office party, neighborhood get-together, or family reunion that brings everyone together, whether they like it or not, to the same place. And in that same place there is the one Christmas tree which everybody is supposed to admire and compliment. The problem comes when you’re the one who’s hosting the party and needs to get a tree up and decorated as soon as possible, while you’re running around with a turkey and a string of other things to do.

The first thing to do is to go out and buy your tree. There is a reason the old carpenters phrase ‘measure twice, cut once’ is still well-used and this is one of them. A tree that is obviously too short or too wide will look out of place, and that’s not what you want for your grand holiday event. If you decide to go for a real tree rather than plastic, then there’s always the risk of some not-so-pretty spots. Before getting your money out, double check that there are no gaps or clusters of branches. If there is one or two on one side, then you can always face them towards a wall but it’s something to be aware of.

Some trees are easier to decorate than others too. The shorter the needles, the easier it will be. Whichever tree you decide to get, make sure you either have a sturdy stand for it at home, or can get one in time. For larger trees, the diameter of the base will be bigger and you’ll need to work that in while considering your tree stand. Most importantly, your Christmas tree should be fresh and young. You can tell if a tree is fresh by feeling the leaves or needles. They should be bright and all the same shade of green. They should not fall off while touching them. If they fall off, look a touch on the brown side, or seem dry and pokey, then most likely, the tree won’t last for your party or look half as good at it.

If your tree has sharp little needles on it, you’ll need to be prepared for that too. They have a habit of falling off onto the floor if they get brushed up against one too many times, or are starting to get older.

The location of your Christmas tree will play a big role too. Stay away from fireplaces, windows, or vents, that could circulate heat and raise the risk of a fire—the ultimate party-douser. Make sure to stay away from frequently populated areas like in the middle of the room or by a doorway. Decorations could get knocked or brushed off, and it can greatly lower the significance of your beautiful, seasonal tree.

Once you have your tree at home—but not in place—double check everything. If there are any branches that aren’t quite at the same level or angle as the others, don’t hesitate to chop it around until it meets your standards. Don’t go crazy with the saw or anything, but you paid your money, you can do whatever you like with it, including shaping or molding it to ‘perfection’.

In the end, your Christmas tree might last a few weeks, but your flooring will (well, we can hope) last much, much longer, so when it comes to moving your tree into your home, put down large, plastic garbage bags, or old sheets in case someone drops the tree while moving it, or any needles fall off on the way. More to the point, it is a live tree and there will be bugs. They show up easier on a white sheet then they do on hardwood flooring.

Once your tree is in place, with its tree stand supporting it, you might consider other forms of support. You can get another base to aid the stand, or, depending on the height and place of the room, consider tying the top of the tree with a clear string to the ceiling. One of the worst things that can happen is having your decorated tree fall flat on the floor—or worse, onto a guest—and having to re-do it then.

You can buy or make cover sheets for the bottom of your tree too, to finalize the decoration and cover up the tree stand. Decorating the tree is the most fun of the entire experience. You can check the Internet for ideas on homemade ornaments and themed trees that will draw the eye that much more.