Bringing home a real Christmas tree for the holidays results in a pretty spectacular display and incomparable scent—but the benefits don’t stop there! There are so many reasons to choose real trees over artificial varieties, and the little bit of upkeep required to keep them healthy and intact is totally worth the effort.
With the right tools and supplies, real Christmas tree care isn’t difficult at all. Follow this guide to learn the basics, so you can enjoy a freshly cut evergreen in your home this year!
Benefits of a Real Christmas Tree
Are real Christmas trees bad for the environment? Many people are quick to assume that cutting a tree down each year is not so great, but the truth is, it’s actually much more eco-friendly than artificial, plastic trees! The Christmas tree farming industry plants millions and millions of trees every year that otherwise wouldn’t be planted, and this releases loads of fresh oxygen and filters out CO2.
Choosing Your Christmas Tree
There are many different varieties of Christmas trees to choose from, with different benefits and features, like better needle hold and denser foliage. Some have sturdier branches that can hold heavy ornaments, while others are softer, flexible, and less prickly. Many varieties have strong aromas, which is an appealing feature for some, but for folks with allergies or scent sensitivities, a less scented variety is preferable. Ask a salesperson for suggestions on the best variety to suit your needs.
The size of your space is also important to factor in when choosing a tree. You might fall in love with a tall, lush spruce, only to bring it home and realize it takes up half of your living room. Take measurements of the height and width of your available space so you can choose the right tree accordingly.
Setting Up Your Christmas Tree
Some supplies are needed for setting up your Christmas tree, not just to hold it up, but to make cleanup easier and prevent needles from spreading all over your floor. We recommend purchasing one of our tree bags to spread out underneath the tree. This not only helps to collect any needles as they drop, but it also helps for transporting the tree out of your home for disposal. You can cover the tree bag with a decorative tree skirt to keep things looking fancy and festive for the holiday.
A tree stand with a water reservoir will be needed to keep your tree upright and hydrated. Factor in the size of your tree with the size of tree stand you get, as larger trees need better support and several liters of water. You can also purchase attachable watering systems or stands with built-in watering systems if you don’t want to go through the hassle of crawling underneath the tree to continually refill the water reservoir.
Prior to setting up your tree, you’ll want to unwrap it outside and shake it to release any dead needles. This will prevent them from ending up on your floor when you bring it in. Make sure the area in which you place the tree is far away from any heat vents or fireplaces—the heat will dry up the needles and cause them to drop.
When standing up your tree, wear protective gloves to prevent injury, and get someone to assist you in holding the tree upright in the stand while you secure the screws in place. Rotate the tree so the most full, attractive side is facing outward, and any major bare spots are hidden away. As soon as the tree is in place, fill the stand with at least one gallon of water.
Products for Preventing Needle Drop
There are some products you can purchase to prolong the life of your tree and slow down needle drop. This is a great idea because if you buy your tree earlier in the season, you’ll have more options to choose from, and the trees will be fresher and healthier. By purchasing a product like Plantabbs Prolong® Christmas Tree Preservative, you can enjoy your tree for much longer, simply by adding the formula into the water reservoir.
Purchasing LED lights that don’t overheat will also help to prevent early needle drop. They’re much more energy-efficient and longer-lasting, and with less heat generated, they’re safer to use—especially if you tend to forget to turn the lights off at night.
How to Properly Dispose of Your Christmas Tree
Removing your tree is simple with the tree bag you laid down during setup. Just remove the skirt and all your lights and ornaments, then zip up the bag, so the needles and branches are mostly stuffed in.
If you live in an urban area, chances are there is free tree pickup available for the first couple of weeks in January on your regular garbage day. Leave the tree out on the curb with all traces of tinsel and decorations completely removed, and they’ll be able to chip it up and repurpose the wood.
In rural areas, you may need to deliver your tree to a recycling center. Google search options in your area for tree disposal to find the most convenient method based on your location.
Replanting Christmas Trees
If you can’t bear the thought of disposing of your Christmas tree at the end of the year, you have the option of purchasing a live tree with the roots intact and replanting it in the ground after the holiday. This involves a lot more upkeep, a slow and careful transition from outdoors to indoors, and it requires you to keep the tree’s root ball secured by a special bag. However, it’s a pretty awesome experience to plant a mature tree yourself, so if you want to take on the extra responsibility, it’s rewarding to know that the tree will continue to live for many decades to come!
For all your holiday decorating needs, look no further than Alsip! If caring for a real tree isn’t in the cards for you, we have so many incredible artificial trees that are high quality and made to last, so you won’t have to replace and dispose of it for many years to come. Some even have the lights pre-installed, so set up is easy as can be!
Order from our online shop, or visit us in-store to see our collection in-person. Have a safe and happy holiday, and have fun decking the halls!