Fizzy drink hack to keep real Christmas trees alive for longer

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Christmas trees are an iconic symbol of the festive period, but for those with a real tree in their home, the needles will start to drop if they haven’t already. Express.co.uk spoke to Mark Rofe, Christmas Tree Specialist at ChristmasTrees.co.uk, about the best ways to make your real Christmas tree last longer, and how to prevent needles from dropping. 

Mark said: “The tree most prone to needle drop is the Norway Spruce. It’s primarily an outdoor tree, creating instant impact in a city centre or town square. 

“Each year it can be found in London’s Trafalgar Square, sent as a gift from Oslo in gratitude for our help during the Second World War.

“Indoors, it may be susceptible to heat and drop needles faster. If you’re going to purchase a Norway Spruce for your home, wait a little later and put it up close to Christmas, so that it’s still in its prime for the big day.

“The Nordmann Fir is the UK’s most popular Christmas tree, known as the ‘non-drop Christmas tree’ for its excellent ability to hold its needles throughout the festive period.

“Its large but soft needles make it ideal for households with young children or pets, and its strong branches are suitable for hanging heavy ornaments or baubles. A well-looked-after Nordmann should last for about a month,” he added. 

While it may not be as cold as it was last week, most households will still have their central heating on. Mark said Christmas “trees really don’t like the heat”. 

“If you want your tree to last as long as possible, it’s best to keep it in your coolest room, (for example a conservatory if you have one). Make sure your tree is kept away from direct heat such as radiators and underfloor heating,” he added. 

Watering a Christmas tree: 

“How much water a tree will need will depend on the tree type as well as its size,” Mark commented. “A larger tree will need more water than a smaller one. 

“The most important thing is to ensure your tree is kept hydrated, it’s best to purchase a Christmas tree stand with a built-in water reservoir, and ensure it is topped up with fresh water daily. 

“It’s definitely better to over-water than under-water your tree.” 

Feeding a Christmas tree: 

“It may come as a surprise, but using lemonade can keep your Christmas tree alive, this is because the sugar in it provides food and nourishment, while the water keeps your tree hydrated,” Mark suggested. “It acts in a similar way to the flower food you would typically get from a florist.

“You can opt to make your own homemade flower food by adding one teaspoon of sugar, and one tablespoon of vinegar to one litre of water, and giving it a good mix. 

“The sugar provides nutrients, while the vinegar makes the water slightly more acidic which can help to slow bacteria growth.”

Some sellers offer trees that still have their roots attached, but for those who have a chopped tree, there are several ways to dispose of it. 

Mark explained: “The way you dispose of a Christmas tree can make a big difference to the environment. Recycling your tree can reduce the environmental impact by up to 80 percent compared to if your tree ends up in a landfill.

“After Christmas, many charities, hospices and organisations have volunteers who will come and collect and recycle your tree for a small suggested donation, so you can help to raise money for a good cause, and be kinder to the environment at the same time. 

“You can find a list of those charities across the UK here.” 

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