It’s that time of year again. In the midst of all the hustle and bustle that accompanies the holiday season, we somehow manage to find the time to continue the time-honored tradition of selecting and decorating the perfect Christmas tree. But after we have found that perfect tree, what to do next? How do we make sure that our “perfect” tree continues to look perfect through the holiday season? This is a common question for us here at Van Wilgen’s, and I would like to go over some very simple steps for keeping your cut tree looking its finest.
It is important to note that this article deals specifically with cut trees. We would be more than happy to assist you with any live tree (roots still attached) care at any one of our four locations. Before I list the steps that I recommend for keeping your tree looking its best, it may help to think of a cut tree like a large bouquet of flowers. Many of the practices we employ with our care of a vase of freshly cut flowers transfer over to our care of cut Christmas trees. Try these tips and I have no doubt you will be enjoying that perfect tree through the holiday season!
- Choose a stand that is large enough for your tree. Shaving down the bark to get the tree to fit is bad practice. Those outer layers of bark are the best at absorbing water, which is the most important part of keeping our tree fresh!
- Have a fresh cut done before putting the tree into the stand. This increases the water absorption capability of the tree.
- Get your tree in water AS SOON AS POSSIBLE after making this cut. Keep the cut free of dirt. This is the most critical point. The sooner you can get the tree into the water, the better.
- If you are not putting the tree into a stand immediately after the fresh-cut, it’s ok! Just be sure to put that tree into a bucket of water until you are ready to put it up!
- After your tree is in the stand, keep it full of water. Your tree will generally “drink” the most water within the first few days of being set up. It is critical that the stand remains full of water so check often! At the very least, check daily throughout the holiday season.
- Drilling a hole in the base of the tree does NOT help with water uptake.
- The temperature of the water that is added to the stand does NOT make a difference. Also, never add anything to the water to preserve freshness other than products specifically formulated to do so. Prolong is a good example of one. Using “home” remedies from the internet has no effect at best, and at worst may hasten the decline of the tree!
- Try to keep the tree away from direct heat sources whenever possible. For example, away from heat vents/registers, fireplaces, direct sunlight, space heaters, etc. Also, use lights that produce less heat such as L.E.D.’s. This has the added benefit of less energy consumption and longer life. Both of which are better for the environment!
In the end, it is all about maintaining and keeping moisture in your tree. If you take the steps to get your tree into water as soon as you can after the fresh-cut and keep the water in your stand full at all times, you will have that perfect Christmas tree looking its best through the holiday season! We hope you have the very best and brightest holiday season! And we look forward to seeing you soon!
Turkish Fir is quickly becoming our most popular Choose & Cut Christmas trees at Van Wilgen’s. Growing Christmas trees is a labor of love. There is a lot of work that goes into making sure our fields are full of premium Van Wilgen Grown trees. We all know Fraser Fir,
The most popular Christmas tree in our area. They are great for needle retention, great color contrast, and pretty good for holding heavy ornaments. Frasers are slow-growing and may take up to 10 years before they can be harvested. They are also tricky to grow. Frasers do not like hot dry summers and are prone to many pests and fungal problems.
Those are many of the reasons we started looking for alternatives to Fraser Fir for our fields. We needed a tree that had all the great features of Fraser without many of the headaches. We were recommended to try Turkish Fir by many people we know in the industry. At the time none of us knew much about them. All the research on them was positive so we started planting them in our fields. We quickly saw we had a winner! They were growing much faster and fuller than Fraser. That we instantly liked! They have not suffered pest damage or root rot like Frasers either. All positives from a growing point of view.
Turkish Fir is native to the mountains of the Black Sea. Their needles are two-tone green and silvery blue that gives off a shimmery look. They are very full and elegant looking and have been the number one choice for Christmas trees in Europe for many years. They have sturdy branches for heavy ornaments and excellent needle retention. I invite you to come to walk our 15 acres of trees and see how great Turkish Fir are.