Author: Suse Coon

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Friday, December 15th, 2006 at 4:33 am
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Homes and Gardens

Looking after your Christmas Tree

Nowadays many people use outdoor lights to decorate a real outdoor tree but if you do use a real tree indoors, you will have to take care of it.

If you have a real tree with roots, make sure that the roots are not damaged as you move the tree from the garden to the house. If you dig it up every year, you will inevitably lose the deeper roots and your tree will grow wider but not as tall as it would if left alone.

If you are buying a new one, again you must treat it with care, remembering that it is not used to warm centrally heated homes with a dry atmosphere. Keep the compost moist at all times to avoid stress and loss of needles. If it is kept cool, you may even be able to plant it on in the garden in the New Year.

If you have bought a real tree with no roots, you may find that it has been treated to prevent excessive needle loss. Even so, don’t expect it to last for a very long time. Like cut flowers, Christmas trees need watering regularly if they are to last throughout the festive season in good condition. It is worth investing in a special stand with a water reservoir, or else keeping it in a bucket of earth, so that you can keep it watered.

To enable your tree to take up water, cut off the bottom 1cm (1/2in) of the trunk as soon as you get it home and stand it in a bucket full of water outside. When you are ready to bring the Christmas tree inside, position it away from fires and radiators or other sources of heat. Use Christmas wrapping paper to disguise the container, and decorate the top with pine cones or cotton wool. Make sure that you can water it when necessary.

When your tree is ready to come down, take it to be recycled with the rest of your garden waste at a recycling centre. Some garden centres may also take it for chipping.

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