[dropcap]Christmas[/dropcap] is just around the corner and many families have begun the quest for the perfect tree to bring home and decorate for the season. With a little care and attention, the trees can stay fresh and easily last through the holidays.
There is an array of places in the state to find Christmas trees, including local farms that grow their own and allow visitors to cut the trees there, stores that bring in trees from farms in and out of state, and floral shops that carry the trees for everyone to choose from.
While looking for a tree, everyone should choose one with soft needles that bend, says Shawnda Peters with Ted and Debbie’s Flowers in Tulsa. She says that the needles should never snap. “You can reach into the tree and pull toward yourself and the branches should bend with you,” she adds.
Of all the varieties of Christmas trees, she recommends the Douglas fir for longevity but believes that any type of tree can last through the holidays and stay fresh when provided with the right care.
Once chosen, the tree should have a fresh cut made to its trunk, along with netting to protect the branches for the ride home. Peters says that it’s always best to take the trees home right away instead of stopping along the way.
Picking a good spot for the tree at home is also a good way to keep the tree looking fresh. Peters recommends placing the tree away from any heat sources, such as vents and fireplaces, to keep the tree from drying too quickly.
“The fireplace, of course, can especially be dangerous the closer we get to the holidays due to dry needles and limbs,” she says.
When the tree is set up in a good spot, water should be added. Peters says that there are tree preservatives available to help the longevity of a tree.
“I have also heard that you can boil two teaspoons of sugar in a cup of water and add this to your water the first time you place your tree stand,” she says. “You should check and add water daily. If you have a fresh cut on your tree, it will drink quickly and that’s a great sign of its longevity. The tree preservative or sugar with your water and a humidifier may also help with keeping the needles hydrated.”
She adds that not letting the tree run out of water is key. “Once a tree has been without water for too long, reviving could be difficult. I suppose you could try a fresh cut on your tree.”
Peters also stressed the importance of buying your tree from a local farm or store if at all possible, along with supporting that merchant with other holiday shopping.
“Small businesses thrive on holiday sales,” she says.