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Tannenbaum Top 10

Tips for Christmas tree health, safety

Posted: December 8, 2011 11:33 a.m.
Updated: December 9, 2011 5:00 a.m.

1. Keeping your live tree in water is vital to retaining its color, preventing needle drop and reducing fire risk.

2. When you get it home, make a fresh cut about ½ inch from the base of the trunk. Do not cut the trunk at an angle as you might do with roses. The cut should be flat across the bottom to maximize water uptake. 

3. After cutting it, promptly put it in a sturdy stand with plenty of water. A stand appropriate for your size tree will provide about a quart of water per inch of stem diameter.

4. Keep your tree away from sources of heat (like furnace vents/radiators) and possible sources of ignition (space heaters, fireplaces, etc.).

5. Try placing it in your home in a location out of direct sunlight (and away from curious pets, if possible).

6. “See the light.” Do not decorate with candles or older lights, which may have worn wiring or hotter-burning bulbs. These accelerate the drying out of live trees. Look into cooler LED lights this year.

7. Do not overload electrical outlets. 

8. Check the stand daily to ensure that the bottom of the trunk remains submerged.

9. Turn off the lights when you leave your home and when you go to bed at night.

10. Recycle your tree. Don’t attempt to burn it indoors or outdoors.

Source: S.C. Forestry Commission

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