If you’ve ever had a Christmas tree that didn’t stay alive very well, you know how annoying it can be to have your floor peppered with needles. They’re pokey; they clog up your vacuum, and it makes your tree look bare and crispy. But there are ways to help slow down this process. Here are some tips for keeping your Christmas tree from shedding needles.
You know, if you hate having a tree that sheds its needles, you can always just purchase an artificial tree. They’re safer because they pose less of a fire hazard (as opposed to a real tree). Just remember that an artificial tree is not without its own safety issues. For example, trees that spin on their bases are unsafe to leave unattended. Other artificial trees have their own set of safety hazards. But that is a topic for another time. The point is, if having shedding needles really bugs you, just go out and buy an artificial tree.
Proper care of your Christmas tree starts before you’ve even purchased it. Finding a healthy tree is the best way to prevent your Christmas tree from shedding needles. So when you go to choose a tree, choose one that is not already on the verge of death. Your best bet is to choose a healthy looking tree that is still growing and then cut it yourself. Your tree will last longer if it hasn’t been sitting around already dead for the past several weeks.
Your next best option would be to buy a recently pre-cut tree. In this case, make sure that the tree is still alive and healthy. Pull on the needles. If they come off easily, it’s probably not in the best condition. The trunk of the tree should still be sticky and the limbs should be very flexible. Heft the tree and bounce the cut end on the ground. If you see a whole bunch of needles falling off, it isn’t the best tree to take home. Buying a pre-cut tree at a grocery store or box store like Wal-Mart may be a cheap option, but you should realize that most of those trees have been shipped across the country to get to you, meaning that they were cut days, if not weeks before.
The next thing you should do to keep your tree from shedding too many needles is to ensure that your tree can drink the water in its stand. To do this you must make a fresh cut on the bottom. When you get the Christmas tree home, cut off the bottom two inches of trunk. This will create a fresh, raw cut for the tree to soak in water. If you don’t do this, the tree trunk may not be able to drink in the water of the Christmas tree stand and your tree will not last as long.
Hydration, hydration, hydration. Just like people, if trees don’t get enough water they’ll have a hard time functioning. So remember to keep your tree well hydrated. This is the best way to keep it alive for a long time and keep it from dropping many of its needles. Keep the water in the stand well above the fresh cut bottom of the trunk.
Following these tips will not guarantee that your tree will not lose any of its needles. All trees will lose needles, no matter what. But these tips will help. Also, you should know that some trees will naturally do better indoors than others. Some trees just have a better history of keeping on their needles. You may find it helpful to do some research on types of trees to find out which tree would be best for you.