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Don’t put your Christmas tree up just yet, warns expert

By Alan Beresford

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EVERY family has its own festive traditions, and putting the decorations up – and when, to be more precise – is always a room divider.

Timing is everything in deciding when to put up a real Christmas tree
Timing is everything in deciding when to put up a real Christmas tree

However, the Christmas tree experts at Pines and Needles explain there is a right answer and we shouldn’t deck the halls until at least the first week of December.

“If you put your real fir Christmas tree up too early, you’ll be left with a less-than-fresh tree on the big day,” explained Veronika Kusak, director at Pines and Needles.

“Obviously, people are incredibly excited in the run up to Christmas and getting the Christmas tree up and decorated is one of the most magical jobs.

“Real trees give you the incredible smell, the bragging rights and the opportunity to choose a different tree each year but just remember they are natural living things, and once they are brought inside, the timer starts.”

With the Christmas adverts out already and more and more celebrities putting on grand Christmas displays, Veronika says it’s hard not to get caught up in the Christmas magic early.

“I love Christmas and I understand why families want to put their tree up early, this year especially as we weren't able to celebrate properly last year, but I’d just encourage those having a real fir Christmas tree to consider the timings more.”

She added that once your tree is up, there are ways to prolong its life by watering regularly and keeping it away from heat sources.

“You have to think of your tree like cut flowers as that is essentially what it is. You always keep your flowers topped up with water so you need to do the same with your Christmas tree.”

Here are Pines and Needles’ top tips to look after your tree:

Prepare the trunk

Just before you instal your tree, saw off the bottom 1" (3cm) of the trunk. This creates a fresh cut and opens up the pores in the bark, which otherwise can block up with sap within a few hours of being cut. The tree is then able to drink water through these pores via capillary action.

Keep it away from any heat sources

Position your Christmas tree away from any heat sources such as radiators and fireplaces. Heat, air conditioning and dehumidifiers dry out your tree faster, so the further from potentially damaging heat sources the better, and the fresher your tree will remain.

They need routine

Do not expose your tree to sudden changes in temperature. Trees, like most people, are creatures of habit and prefer steady conditions.

Water your tree

Place your tree in plain water, not soil or sand which would block the pores in the bark. This is best achieved by using a specially designed Christmas tree stand. Many precious hours can be wasted trying to make a Christmas tree stand up straight in an ordinary bucket using just bricks or stones!

Then keep on watering it!

Keep the Christmas tree stand topped up with water. Your Christmas tree may drink 2-3 pints (1-2 litres) of water per day, depending on its size and your central heating settings. This is very important as once the water level drops below the tree’s trunk, sap will re-seal the bark within a few hours, preventing the tree from drinking any further water even if you then re-fill the Christmas tree stand.

Timing is everything

These trees are natural living things, time the arrival of your tree with this in mind to increase longevity and get the most out of it.

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