Jackies tree The time is quickly approaching when we will be preparing for Christmas. If you have small children, then you know the tree is the prop that builds the suspense until that day finally arrives. Not only does it spark the anticipation of the arrival of Christmas morning, but it has its own special way of bringing the family closer. At my house, the family gathers together the day after Thanksgiving to put up the tree. Each family member gets to place an ornament where ever they desire. It feels the air with an euphoric atmosphere that is indescribable and unforgettable.

For this day you will want to find the healthiest tree possible. If you go to a tree farm there are plenty of clues to look for when selecting that perfect tree. Fresh cut trees last longer than pre-cut trees. They are also less likely to be a fire hazard. If you have a fireplace, then a fresh cut tree is a major plus. If your only option is a pre-cut, then inspect it carefully. To determine how fresh the tree is grasp some of the needles between your thumb and index finger and give them a tug. If they break off easily or do not spring back the tree is probably to dry. Another trick to test for freshness is to take the tree and tap it's base against the ground. If other than brown needles fall off, don't get the tree. You can also bend the branches and they should be pliable without snapping. Make sure the branches are full on all sides, and if so, you have found your perfect tree.

Be careful when transporting the tree. You can read more about that here. Once you get it home, you will need to cut about a couple of inches of the base back. If the tree has been cut for more that a few hours the base can seal. If you cut back the base, you will ensure an absorbent surface for up taking water for your tree. Once you have it up and in the stand, water is vital. Trees can drink a gallon of water a day. Not providing adequate water will cause it to dry out very quickly and become a fire hazard. It is imperative that you do not forget this crucial task.

Where you place your tree in your home is also important to its vitality and your safety. I have always had a fireplace in my home and the urge to place the tree near it is overwhelming. However, this should be avoided. A fireplace can dry out a Christmas tree very quickly. So can drafts. Evergreens have a high resin content which makes them very flammable, so discourage the desire to place them near this environment.

If you decide to buy a living tree for replanting, then you should wait about a week before Christmas. Do not leave them indoors for more than 10 days. Leave them in their burlap ball and place them in a container. You should also fill the contain with some sphagnum peat to ensure that the soil remains moist. After Christmas, you should promptly remove the lights and decorations and transplant the tree outside. Do not transplant it in area where the ground has frozen. Mulch and water and fertilize it, to have a green Christmas this year.