Prepare Your Christmas Tree Before Bringing it Inside

Prepare Your Christmas Tree Before Bringing it Inside

We know what it’s like… You’ve maybe spent days researching trees and retailers online, visited several shops, finally found your perfect tree and taken excellent care of it all the way home and now that it is home, the last thing you’ll want to do is spend even more time preparing it before you even get to hang a decoration.

Before you erect your tree though there are few steps you can, and should take, which will increase its longevity and reduce the amount of attention you’ll need to give it when it’s up and covered in decorations.

When you get your tree home, remove it from your car or trailer straight away and if you’ve wrapped it in a blanket or tarp remove that straight away too. Remove all the netting and allow the branches to open fully. The last thing you need is for some nasty fungus or mould to make itself at home in moist branches that have no room to breathe.

Smiling child reaches up to hang a bauble from the Christmas tree, her mother right behind her looking on an smiling.
Man holding a very small, decorated, real Christmas tree in the palm of his hands

With the base firmly on the ground, grab hold of the trunk about two thirds the way up the tree and give it a good solid shake. This will dislodge any wee beasties and eject any loose needles. No need for either of them to come inside the house!

Now it’s time to take a closer look at the base. When a Christmas tree is freshly cut, sap oozes out of the base. Over the course of only a few days, the sap congeals and dries into a layer over the base that’s almost completely waterproof, so we need to get rid of that layer.

Carefully lay the tree on its side making sure that branches don’t bend the ‘wrong’ way and end up snapping. Using a simple hand saw, you just need to saw off a small disc of wood from the base. About an inch should be fine. Pro-parenting tip: Your kids will love using it to make a decoration for the tree!

If your tree is particularly fresh, sap may still be making its way out of it and after you cut it, the same thing could happen. So to be on the safe side, before you cut the disc off the base, leave your tree to stand somewhere cool and dry for a couple of days to allow the last of the sap to come out.

Next, stand your tree upright again and take a step back. This is the point where you make any last minute pruning adjustments. There’s bound to be the odd sprig that sticks out just a bit too far and ruins the look you’re going for. Always use a sharp pair of secateurs for this job and make a clean cut. If you decide to just try and snap the branch, it will leave sharp edges and will probably end up looking worse than the sprig did in the first place.

If your tree stand doesn’t have a reservoir then when you’ve finished pruning and your tree is looking just right, place the base into a bucket of water so that it can rehydrate and replace any moisture it’s lost since it left the farm. This is essential if you want your tree to look fresh for the whole season, a new tree can drink up to four litres of water in the first 24 hours! Leave it overnight, somewhere cool and dry before you go to fit your stand.

At Fir, we include all of this preparation in the price of your tree. We’ll wait until the morning of delivery before we cut the base so that enough time has passed for the sap to do its thing. When we arrive, we’ll remove the netting from a selection of trees so that you can choose which one you want and we’ll take care of any loose needles and deal with any pruning before we affix your stand and bring it inside.

Toddler in a pretty dress offering a red box with a red bow. A Cristmas tree sparkles in the background
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