Common ‘mistake’ causes Christmas trees to ‘shed’ needles

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Decorating a real Christmas tree is often a family affair over the festive period. Positioning, decorating and caring for the tree for weeks is a tradition enjoyed in many households.

However, after a few weeks of being on display, Christmas trees can start to look bare as their needles drop.

Christmas tree needles can get stuck in carpets, harm pets and can be sharp if they’re accidentally trodden on.

With this in mind, spoke to several experts about how to stop Christmas tree needles dropping from now into the new year.

Deemer Cass from Fantastic Gardeners said one of the “main mistakes” Britons make is positioning their Christmas trees near heat sources.

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The gardening expert said gardeners shouldn’t put their trees near heaters and sources of fire like fireplaces or wood burners.

Deemer said: “Avoid putting trees near radiators and fireplaces as this will prevent it from drying out, looking wilted and shedding its needles.”

Homes with underfloor heating should try and turn if off in the area where the tree is located.

If warm parts of the home can’t be avoided then ensure the tree is constantly topped up with water as a Christmas tree uses up to two litres of water a day.

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Deemer added: “We recommend you water a Christmas tree once a day with cold water. For a cut tree, although it looks amazing when positioned in front of an open fireplace, never do this as it will dry out.”

John Lawless of BestHeating recommended choosing a Nordmann Fir tree in future as it is likely to live the longest in heated conditions and “needles won’t drop for a long time.”

Mike, a sports field groundskeeper, gardening expert, lawn-care enthusiast, and the founder of Nerd Lawn said dropping needles is a “common issue” with real Christmas trees which can be “unsightly and messy”.

To “prevent” needles dropping, he ensured keeping the tree well-watered and away from any temperature extremes.

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He explained: “Make sure to keep the tree well-watered and avoid placing it in a location where it will be exposed to extreme heat or cold.

“You can also use a tree preservative or anti-desiccant spray, which can help to keep the needles on the tree for a longer period of time.”

Hillier Garden Centre’s Horticultural Buyer, Charlotte McGratten has also shared her expert advice for looking after Christmas trees and ensuring needles don’t drop.

Charlotte said it’s natural for trees to lose a few needles, however, there are steps that can be taken to ensure trees don’t drop too many needles.

While it may seem obvious, many homeowners can forget to water their trees during the busy festive period which is essential.

Keeping Christmas tree stands topped up with water regularly should help “prevent needle drop”.

She added: “We also recommend placing your tree in the corner of the room to avoid bumps and knocks, so it can retain as many needles as possible.”

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