The holidays are here and for many that means, it’s time to head out to the Christmas tree lot. Selection is the first step to insuring a beautiful tree throughout the holiday season.
Start by checking for freshness. Run your hand along the stem. The needles should be pliable yet firmly attached to the branch. If not, it’s time to move to the next tree.
Avoid trees with lots of moss, lichens, vines, broken branches and other signs of poor care. Now check the trunk. It should be straight and small enough to fit in your tree stand.
Remove at least an inch from the base of the trunk before setting it in the stand. A straight or diagonal cut work equally well. Fill the stand with water and check often. Fresh trees can absorb as much as 2 qts of water in the first 24 hours. Keeping your tree stand filled with water is the best way to keep your tree looking its best throughout the season.
Research has shown that a tree stand kept filled with water is the best cut tree preservative. Some like to add homemade or commercial preservatives to “feed” the tree and prevent the build up of fungus, mold and bacteria in the water. You can make your own by adding a cup of clear sugary soda and a drop of bleach to the water. For more gardening tips and videos visit my web site www.melindamyers.com
Also, check out the Discover Hidden Treasures garden events (adult and family) I'll be doing on Jan. 14 at Boerner Botanical Gardens. Proceeds benefit Childrens Plant Science and Environmental Education programs at Boerner. I hope you can join me!