Keeping your real Christmas decorations fresh

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 15, 2017

By now, I am sure most everyone has their Christmas tree and decorations up and I am sure that some of you were hanging them up with me the day after Thanksgiving.

Whether you went artificial or real is a personal preference or tradition of your family. But if you are like me, we put up a real tree and decorate with real wreaths and garland.

When using real products, you have to work a little harder to maintain the look, keep things fresh and green, and help slow down the process of dropping needles everywhere. Another thing to keep in mind is helping eliminate fire hazards.

To me, the extra work is worth it for the great smell they provide all month long. Below are some tips to keep in mind this Christmas season if you are using real products.

  • If you have a real tree, use a stand that will hold at least a gallon of water. Check water often, and keep the stand full. A tree may take up to a gallon of water in the first 24 hours and a quart a day after that. Preservatives are not needed, just plenty of fresh water.
  • Place tree away from heat sources such as heating vents, fireplaces, wood stoves, radiators and sunny windows. All of these things will help dry out a tree faster, and that can create a fire hazard.
  • Do not overload electric circuits. If you are like me and go a little overboard with the lights, be mindful not to overload that circuit.
  • Turn off lights before leaving home or going to bed.
  • Trees do not cause fires but will support combustion when dry. Dry trees should be removed before they create a fire hazard.
  • If you are using greenery or a wreath outside, it is recommended that you squirt them with a water bottle every few days. If you have a wreath inside, you should take it down every few days to squirt with water. Then, let it dry before rehanging.

If you have any questions regarding the care of your Christmas decorations, please call Morgan at the N.C. Cooperative Extension, Rowan County Center, 704-216-8970.