How to keep your Christmas Tree fresh for longer.
This is a question we get asked every day during the Christmas Tree season. It's not hard to care for your tree, avoid it drying out early and keeping it fresh until well into the New Year if you follow a few simple steps.
1. Keep your Christmas Tree in a shady cool spot away from the sun.
This is really important. There is nothing that will wilt your tree quite like direct sunlight. In fact, when we're collecting Christmas trees from around Auckland even in late January, we'll often collect trees in perfect condition. We then lay them out in the sun as we need them to wilt for recycling. The impact of the sunshine on their green needles is unbelievable, within just days of laying the healthy trees out in the sun, they were literall toasted with the needles turning brown and brittle.
2. Christmas Trees are thirsty, don't let them run dry!
Another sure fire way to kill your tree before its time, is letting its water run dry. Christmas Trees need a lot of water, particularly in the first 48 hours after being cut. Its normal for them to drink more water than your stand can hold, and if the Christmas Tree stand is let to run dry it can mean game over for the tree, even if you top it up again the next day. When a tree is out of water, even for just an hour, sap leaks out and congeals, sealing the base of the tree - which means the tree can't absorb water anymore. So the trick is to keep the water topped up at all times, but be extra vigilant in the first 48 hours.
3. Keep the Christmas Tree away from air conditioning.
This one is isn't quite a obvious. Trees are fussy, its correct that they don't like overly hot rooms however air coniditioning is actually even more damaging to their needles and general health. In particular, if its feasible, never place your Christmas Tree in the air conditioning unit's direct line of fire. Large office buildings with over-zealous air conditioning set ups aren't ideal but generally so long as the tree is not positioned directly under an outlet, they will last okay. If you're hosting the family Christmas Day your best bet is to ensure your home is naturally well ventilated and only rely on the air conditioning if its a super hot day.
4. Always trim the bottom before putting your Christmas Tree in water.
Well, not quite always. If you buy your Christmas Tree from us the bottom will already have been trimmed. We do this to every tree before putting them in large buckets of water in cool, shaded and well ventilated sheds. Most of our customers live locally, at least within half an hours drive so we tell them its fine to put the tree up when they get home. If your tree is out of water for longer than that though, you definitely need to slice a sliver, even just half a centimetre off the base. This will enable the tree to drink water and get rid of any layers of congealed sap. If you book a delivery with us, our drivers cut a slice off the bottom of the tree before installing the tree.
5. Don't buy your tree from the side of the road
Yes of course we're going to say don't buy from our competitors, right? Wrong. We wouldn't be sharing this piece of advice had we not had hundreds of customers come in over the years telling us they bought their tree on the side of the road, and it died. You only need to look at the list above to understand why. We've routinely seen trees lying on their side, in the sun and out of water quite horrified about what some poor unsuspecting customer is getting themselves in for when parting with their hard earned money for a Christmas Tree. To the kids that operate these stands it probably doesn't matter as they're just in it for the season. We on the other hand have been in the game for 80 years now, and many of our customers who bring their kids, have been coming since they were kids - so for us making sure your tree will go the distance is a top priority.
What do you put in the Christmas Tree water make it last longer?
You may also be wondering whether sugar, aspirin or lemonade in the Christmas Tree water is helpful in keeping it alive, its another question we get a lot. We're not quite sure where these ideas originated from but we've actually run experiments with each of these over the years . We set aside some control trees in fresh clean water as well as some with aspirin water, some with lemondade and some with lemonae. All other variables were the same and the conclusion was that the additives to the water made absolutely no difference. The main thing is that you keep it topped up with plenty of water, and follow the steps above.
When should you take your Christmas Tree down?
According to tradition you should take your Christmas Tree down on the twelfth night, or 12 days after Christmas Day. That would be the 5th or 6th of January, however nowadays we see more people removing their tree at more practical times. For example many offices in the city have their trees removed before Christmas Day as they know nobody will be in the office until mid January. Many Aucklanders head to the beach after Christmas Day for their annual holiday so lots of people choose to have their tree collected in the second half of January.
If you're looking to dispose of your Christmas Tree we offer a tree collection service with trucks on the road seven days a week from late December until late January.