We have finally reached that magical time of year when the crisp Minnesota air seems to be filled with the nostalgic scent of pine. For many families, picking out a real Christmas tree is their most treasured tradition—one that encourages togetherness and memories. However, with a real tree’s authentic charm comes the responsibility of keeping it fresh all season. For those looking to embark on a new tradition and accept the challenge of a real tree, we asked Nick Wolcyn of Wolcyn Tree Farms & Nursery to provide a few tips for keeping your tree stunning until the last gift is unwrapped.
“In terms of selecting a tree, there are many factors to consider, [including] needle retention, fragrance, stiffness of branches, length of needles, etc.,” Wolcyn explains. Ensure freshness by checking for vibrant, green needles that don’t fall off easily when touched. Once you’ve found the perfect tree, make a fresh cut at the base before placing it in water.
Place your tree away from heat sources like radiators, fireplaces, or direct sunlight. These can speed up the drying process, leaving you with a less-than-jolly tree. A cool room with sufficient humidity will prolong the life of your tree and maintain its festive appearance.
Hydration is Key
A freshly cut tree can absorb a surprising amount of water, so make it a daily ritual to check the water level in the tree stand. “You definitely want make a fresh cut of at least half an inch off the bottom of the trunk before you put the tree in water so that it will actually take up the water,” he says. “I would also recommend getting a tree stand with a sufficient water dish since most older tree stands don’t hold enough water to support the Fir trees of today’s market.”
Trim & Tidy
As the days go by, your tree may start to show signs of shedding. Don’t fret—it’s natural. Give your tree a gentle shake outdoors to remove loose needles and trim any low-hanging branches to keep it looking polished.