selecting your Christmas tree, remember
a tree that is at least one foot
shorter than the height of the ceiling
in the room where you are going
to display the tree.
the freshness of the tree by running
your fingers over the branch along
the needles. Make sure the needles
on the tree you select are pliable
and adhere to the branches. They
should bend, but not break or fall
shaking the tree to see if the needles
are firmly attached. While you can
expect some loss of brown needles,
don't accept the tree if you notice
an excessive loss.
trees that have a wilted look. Make
sure the trunk of the tree is straight.
The stump should extend six to eight
inches below the longest branches
to allow placement in the tree stand.
check for insects and dead needles
inside the tree crown. Have dead
needles and insects shaken or blown
out of the tree before you take
it home. If insects are found, spray
the tree with an indoor-outdoor
aerosol insecticide containing pyrethrins
before bringing the tree inside.
you get your Christmas tree home,
follow these tips to keep the needles
on and the tree fragrant:
a freshness test. Gently grasp a
branch between your thumb and forefinger
and pull it toward you. Very few
needles should come off in your
hand if the tree is fresh. Shake
or bounce the tree on its stump.
You should not see an excessive
amount of green needles fall to
the ground. Some loss of interior
brown needles is normal and will
occur over the lifetime of the tree.
you've chosen your tree, keep it
in a sheltered, unheated area such
as a porch or garage to protect
it from the wind and sun until you
are ready to decorate it.
you set up your tree, make a fresh,
straight cut across the base of
the trunk (about a quarter inch
up from the original cut) and place
the tree in a tree stand that holds
a gallon of water or more.
Keep the tree stand filled with
water. A seal of dried sap will
form over the cut stump in four
to six hours if the water drops
below the base of the tree, preventing
the tree from absorbing water later
when the tree stand is refilled.
If a seal does form, another fresh
cut will need to be made.
tree will absorb as much as a gallon
of water or more in the first 24
hours and one or more quarts a day
thereafter. Water is important because
it prevents the needles from drying
and dropping off and the boughs
from drooping. Water also keeps
the tree fragrant.
addition, keep your tree away from
heat and draft sources like fireplaces,
radiators and television sets. Test
your light cords and connections
before hanging them on the tree
to make sure they're in good working
order. You don't want to use cords
with cracked insulation or broken
or empty sockets. Also be sure to
unplug the lights before you go
to bed or leave the house. Never
overload electrical circuits.
Not Smoke or Place Candles
Near The Tree!
precautions such as these will help
preserve the unique beauty and tradition
that only a real Christmas tree can