GREENSBORO, N.C. — Oh, Christmas tree! There's nothing quite like a real one -- the texture, the smell, and the magic! It certainly isn't cheap, so it better last.
The average lifespan for a cut Christmas tree is at least five weeks. If you decorate in late November, it should last until Christmas with no problems. But, what if there were a way to make it live longer? You've probably heard a little aspirin, soda or bleach can do the trick. Are those just old wives tales, or do they really work?
The National Christmas Tree Association says the best way to keep a Christmas tree hydrated is plain fresh water. Adding aspirin, soda, bleach, corn syrup, sugar or preservatives are unnecessary and actually can be detrimental. They can decrease moisture retention and increase needle loss.
The Association suggests when selecting a tree, look for one that appears healthy. It should not easily lose needles when gently touched or bounced on a hard surface.
When you get home, try to cut half an inch off the stump before putting it in water. A fresh cut reopens pores that absorb water. Put the tree in a stand that fits. A tree can use one quart of water per day per inch of stem diameter. So, a four-inch trunk needs a stand that holds four quarts of water.
Lastly, lower the temperature in your room with the Christmas tree. The Association says a cooler environment can slow the drying process and prevent your tree from getting so thirsty.
Plain water and adequate care can extend the lifespan of a tree.
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