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If your idea of decking the halls includes a live evergreen heavy with lights and tinsel, you’re not alone. In fact, over 29 million households are getting a real tree this year to adorn their living rooms and twinkle through their front windows. Keep your perfect tannenbaum alive (with its needles intact) by following these easy steps:
When you’re at the nursery picking out your tree, inspect the needles – they should feel flexible, not dry and brittle.
Before you put your tree in its stand, cut off the bottom inch of the trunk to provide a fresh surface for water uptake.
As soon as possible, get the tree in water. The base of the tree should never dry out, so make sure your water bowl doesn't become empty! A basic rule of thumb is that a typical tree will absorb a quart of water each day for every inch of trunk diameter.
This is up for debate, but some people swear by adding sugar, aspirin or corn syrup to their tree’s water. While there is no scientific data backing these substances, we say don’t knock it ‘til you try it. If sugar has worked for you in the past, keep on adding the sweet stuff!
Keep your tree away from direct sunlight, heaters and fans because these things will speed up the drying-out process.
If you have a humidifier in your house, put it in the tree-room. It will help keep the needles fresher long, as well as reduce the risk of fire.
If all of this seems like too much work, opt for a potted tree instead. You can find them at your local nursery. Bonus: Instead of slowly dying in your living room, potted trees can be donated to the parks department or replanted in your yard come January!