Experts tell how to preserve Christmas tree

Ways to make sure your tree stays green until New Year


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With Thanksgiving over, the focus turns to Christmas, and Christmas tree stands are popping up all around town.

If you're like most folks, you're counting on your tree staying green through Christmas Day and even up to Jan. 1.

So how do you make sure your tree stays green until the New Year? The kind of tree you choose is the first critical decision.

"These are Fraser firs from North Carolina and they appear to be really fresh," said Dee Patton.

Patton and her husband made the right choice with the Fraser fir because that type of tree retains the most moisture over time, according to the experts. It's also important to ask the tree supplier just how long ago the trees were cut from the wild.

After getting a fresh cut on the trunk, it's imperative you take the tree home and put it in water just as soon as possible. The first three to four days, your tree will need a lot of water as it adjusts to its new environment.

"You've got to keep an eye on that, check it every morning," said Joe Peters. "Sometimes you have to water it twice in a day."

Peters said it's important not to put your tree near the fireplace or furnace, or even the air conditioner vent. He said it's a good idea to ask the Christmas tree company for a supplement to put into the water. Spraying your trees limbs periodically with water also helps.

"We do that here," Peters said. "We spray the trees every morning because we don't have them in the stands yet. I can't say they really work, but they seem happy with it in the past."

Some say putting sugar in the tree's water or even aspirin will help prolong the life of your tree.

It's also important to really test the limbs by bending them to see if they are brittle. That way you'll know just by touching them that they may need more water.

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