The best way to make sure a real Christmas tree stays at its best for longer is to make sure it’s as fresh as possible when you buy it.
One way to do this is to buy from a member of the British Christmas Tree Growers Association, who grow the trees they sell, so you can be sure they’re in top condition. Find a grower near to you by using the searchable database of members on the website.
As a reminder, Grown in Britain urges consumers to choose certified British grown Christmas trees (for example, Forestry England sell sustainable and high quality UK-grown Christmas trees across the country, from the heart of the forest) for independent assurance that they are grown in the UK, high on quality and freshness, and low on tree miles.
Wherever you source your cut tree from, have a really good look at it before you buy, and give it a shake to check that lots of needles don’t fall off. If they do, it’s probably not going to last right through the festivities.
You don’t always need to head to a farm or local garden centre for your real Christmas tree though. There are lots of real Christmas trees you can order online and have it delivered to your home, including Christmas Trees Direct, B&Q and Crocus, that are specially hand selected.
Once you get it home, if you can, saw off a few centimetres from the bottom of the trunk; this will create a fresh cut and help the tree to take up water. Cut Christmas trees (like cut flowers), remain fresh for a certain amount of time by taking up water through capillary action, but when not in water, the pores in the old cut will most likely have become blocked with sap, preventing water getting through.
House Beautiful/Mark Scott
As soon as it’s cut, put the trunk into water and make sure it is topped up regularly. If you’re not putting it up in the house immediately, store it in a cool but frost-free place.
Once inside the house, you should place the tree in cool spot, away from direct sunlight or any sources of heat. But most people’s living rooms are not cold, dark places, so it’s always going to be a compromise. If you have a choice, keep it away from radiators and sunny windows. Ideally, it will also be placed somewhere where it’s not being knocked all the time!
And the last essential thing to care for, is to keep the water topped up. Christmas trees get thirsty and can use up to 2-3 pints (1-2 litres) of water a day, depending on its size. Staying hydrated is extremely important to ensure your tree stays looking bright and bushy.
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