Homeowner's Academy

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How to Buy and Set Up the Perfect Christmas Tree

by BROOKE GOLD HASSON | Nov 14, 2014

ChristmasTree-300x213As temperatures finally cool down across Florida, many families are preparing to “deck the halls” for the holidays.

One of the most iconic holiday decorations is the Christmas tree; yet finding the perfect tree can be a difficult and stressful experience if you don’t know what to look for.

To help you out, we’ve compiled the following guidelines on how your family can purchase that “perfect” Christmas tree.

Can You Spot a Healthy Tree?

Buying an unhealthy Christmas tree can significantly impact the amount of jolliness your family feels on Christmas morning. The last thing you want to do is bring home a tree that wilts and dies by the middle of December.

Here are some warning signs to look out for when buying your tree:
  • Excessive loss of green needles. To check, shake the tree vigorously on its stump. The only needles that should fall from a healthy tree are dead, brown ones in the middle.
  • Dry, brittle twigs
  • A sour, musty smell

What Size Tree Should You Get?

All too often, families pick out the “perfect” tree, bring it home and discover that it’s too large for their living room.

Before heading out to make your big purchase, identify the area where you plan to display the tree and measure that area’s height (floor to ceiling), width and depth. Not only could this save money, but it will also prevent you from potentially having to cut off large portions of the trunk and lower branches, which would considerably impact the tree’s overall appearance.

Also, note the distance between the bottom of the tree and the first whorl of branches. You will want to pick out a tree with a trunk that’s long enough to display without having to remove the bottom branches.

How to Set Up a Christmas Tree

Keep your newly purchased Christmas tree in a covered, unheated area until you are ready to decorate it. Not decorating your tree for a few days? Place it in a bucket of water and refill as needed.

Before placing your tree in the stand, make a straight cut across the tree trunk, about 0.5 to 1 inch away from the bottom. If you do not have a saw readily available, have the seller make a fresh cut before you take your tree home.

Place your tree in an appropriately-sized stand, and ensure that the bottom of the trunk is sitting firmly in the bottom of the stand to prevent it from tipping over. To determine what size stand you will need, measure the diameter of the tree trunk (in inches). The number of inches is directly proportional to the number of quarts your stand will need to hold. For example, if your tree trunk diameter is 10 inches, your stand will need to be able to hold 10 quarts of water at a time.

Make sure your tree stand is filled with water at all times. A tree can absorb up to a gallon or more of water within the first 24 hours, and at least one quart a day from there on out. Keeping your tree hydrated not only keeps it healthy, but also fuels that fragrant pine smell we all know and love.

Don’t let your Christmas tree become a fire hazard. Take a look at these guidelines to ensure a safe and holly jolly holiday season.