Taking Care of your Tree
If you are not putting the tree up right away, store it in an unheated garage or some other area out of the wind and cold (freezing) temperatures. Make a fresh one inch cut on the butt end and place the tree in a bucket of warm water.* When you are ready to bring your tree inside, make a fresh cut across the bottom, about 1 inch above the old base. This removes any clogged wood that may not readily absorb water. Next, the tree should be placed in a stand with a large reservoir of water and located in the room. Depending upon the size, species, and location of the tree, it may absorb a gallon of water in the first day, so it should be checked frequently and re-watered as necessary. Although some people advocate placing various substances in the water to preserve freshness, we recommend that customers simply keep the tree well-watered with pure tap water. As long as the tree is able to absorb and transpire water, it is reasonably fire-resistant. It is important that the tree always be kept watered and not allowed to dry out. If the tree does become dried out, it may not be able to adequately absorb moisture once it is re-watered, and it will shed its needles prematurely. Taking the tree down and cutting about a 1-inch slice off the bottom of the trunk, then replacing the tree in the stand and re-watering, will remedy the problem. Although inconvenient, it is the only way to prevent early needle loss. Overall, a good rule of thumb is to treat a green Christmas tree just like a fresh bouquet of cut flowers.
** CAUTION: Cut trees will form a sap plug rapidly when water level falls below 1″ above cut end. It is important that water level is maintained by using a stand with a large water capacity or by topping off the reservoir at intervals during the day. The Lantier tree farm sells a stand with a large water capacity that has another feature that makes setup and maintenance of your tree very easy. The stand has no clamps. You would set the tree on an heavy pin in the base. The pin fits into a hole drilled into the butt of your tree. Once the pin is inserted, the tree will stand upright. This hole is drilled free of charge every year when you purchase your tree. PLEASE NOTE: These stands are intended for trees which will be set up as soon as they reach home. Cutting the butt after drilling will alter the hole dimension and the stand will not fit properly. Our Farm also has remote tree water reservoirs for sale. These allow a visible check of the tree water without having to check the water level in the stand. In addition, they add 2 liters of water to the capacity of the stand and allow the water to be replenished by simply changing a 2 liter bottle located outside the tree branches at the base of the tree. *All “Cut Your Own” Trees Are Sold “First Come, First Served”- Cut and Carry
**Virginia Cooperative extension *University of Illinois