Don’t you just love the smell of a fresh Christmas tree in the house? It’s one of my favorite things about the season, but there’s also no avoiding the fact that it’s going to start drying out, and pretty quick! We all know that it’s important to keep the tree supplied with plenty of fresh water, but there are a few more tricks that will keep it looking (and smelling) fresh, just a bit longer.
- Open the Pores ~ The best way for your tree to absorb water is with a fresh cut off the bottom of the trunk. Most tree lots will do this for you, and it’s important to put the base in (HOT – more on this below) water as soon as you get it home, even if it’s in a bucket on the back porch while you wait to set it up. If your tree hangs around for a few days before you set it up (and you have a saw), go ahead and give it one more fresh cut before you put it in the stand. You will maximize the absorption of water with the freshest cut possible.
- Keep it Cool ~ Don’t put your tree near heat sources such as a fireplace, wood stove or heater register. The poor guy has already been cut from his roots, and propping him up near the heat is only going to suck more life out of him.
- Feed It ~ Having been cut from its root system, your tree has lost its food source and it’s hungry! But, you can still feed and nourish your tree and keep it from looking like Charlie Brown’s frail little tree with the needles falling off. I have this ornament book from Christopher Radko, and it contains this great formula to add to your water. I’ve been using it for years, and it really does help! I’ve shared it with all my friends and family, and find that I get emails every year … “What was that concoction for my tree water again???”.
1 quart HOT tap water (hot water aids in circulation)
1 tablespoon liquid iron* (keeps the tree green)
2 tablespoons light corn syrup (feeds the tree)
1 tablespoon plain laundry bleach (fights bacteria and fungi)
*Liquid iron can be found in the garden section of stores
Check the water level daily, especially the first week!
I hope you found this Christmas tree blog helpful! While the holidays should be filled with peace and fa la la, they can also be stressful. If thoughts of decorating, decluttering, or where to sleep your guests has got your head spinning, a Designer Download© session with me can help! It’s one-stop shopping for all the answers to all your questions.
Design should be fun, not stressful!
I have been the victim of a dry tree recently. I actually got mine all decorated and trimmed before I remembered the next DAY to put water in it!! Darn! I hope it survives but I will try the recipe to see if that helps! Thanks for posting that!
Oh, bummer, Dr. Jen! I know how you feel though, and have been annoyed with myself when I’ve not checked my water for a couple of days, only to discover it DRY. I always think after a week or so that it stops drinking, but it still does! I think the formula will definitely help, so put in the water every time you add a fresh batch. I don’t worry about adding the bleach for the first week or so, since it’s so thirsty. That’s more important when it stops drinking, and the water just sits (ick!). :-]
Ooh this is a good one to share on Facebook. I think I remember you sharing this last year. Thanks for the tips to keeping our Christmas tree fresh, Kathy.
I tried your formula for tree ‘food;’ and so far my tree is still looking great! I cut it down at a Christmas Tree farm on November 26th so it’s over a month old in my house now and is holding up really well. I also heard on a TV show that spraying your tree with hairspray is a great way to avoid having needles fall off! I didn’t try that this year – maybe next – because I do have a lot of needle debris. Thanks for the great tip Kathy!
These tips are particularly important this year with the extra days between Thanksgiving and Christmas! Thanks for sharing can’t wait to mix up some food for my tree.
I don’t have corn syrup do you think agave nectar/ or plain sugar would work?
Hmm, interesting question Tina! I guess you could give it a try since corn syrup can be used as a sugar substitute, so why not vice-versa? I’m not sure about agave nectar (is it sugary enough?), and since it’s more expensive than plain sugar, I’d go with the sugar. I found a cooking website that gave a substitution ratio and it’s almost 1-1, so since we’re not needing to be precise for baking, go ahead and add 1 T. sugar instead of the corn syrup. I’m glad you asked this question, because I don’t always have corn syrup on hand either! :-]
This is a great tip. We have been cutting our own trees for a couple years now and I knew about putting roses in hot water first to open up the stems and didn’t event think about it for our tree. We’ve had ours in since Nov 24th with just regular water so I’ll start with the cocktail now and see how it goes. We don’t have corn syrup so I’ll try the cane sugar as well. Happy holidays and thanks for sharing this great tip.