How to make your Christmas tree last longer – gardening expert shares seven top tips

Christmas tree: Expert shares advice on caring for trees

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Christmas is fast approaching and with an estimated 44 percent of Brits ready to put the tree up in November, there is little time left to get clued up on choosing the most long-lasting fir for your property. Whether you’re decorating your home as early as November or as late Christmas eve, timing your tree right is key to keeping it fresh through the festivities. Express.co.uk spoke to gardening expert Samantha Jones to find out exactly how to make your tree last longer this winter.

When should you buy a real Christmas tree?

You can’t beat the fresh fir fragrance of a real tree but this iconic scent won’t last too long if you buy your tree too early.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, MyJobQuote’s gardening expert, Samantha Jones said: “If you buy the Christmas tree too early, it might dry out, but generally, you should get your Christmas tree a week into December.

“A Nordman fir tree can be purchased four weeks before Christmas, but a European spruce tree should be bought mid-December.”

When transporting your Christmas tree home it’s important to protect it from damage by wrapping a blanket around if secured to a roof – this will prevent the cold winter weather from drying the tree out.

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Should you trim the trunk of a real Christmas tree?

Keeping your tree fresher for longer starts with potting it at home.

According to Samantha, trimming the trunk of your Christmas tree will allow the wood to absorb more water which will keep the tree healthy and well-fed.

She added: “Cut half an inch off with a saw, cutting straight so the tree doesn’t become lopsided.

“To help keep your tree sturdy and fresh, it’s important to have a dependable Christmas tree stand that has a built-in water reservoir.”

Where should you put a Christmas tree?

Choosing the right location for a real fir tree is key to keeping it rich, aromatic and green right through the Christmas season.

Samantha said: “If you want your Christmas tree to last longer, consider placing it in a conservatory or the coolest room of the house.”

While we may enjoy the cosiness of the central heating through the winter, Christmas trees don’t like heat sources, so you should keep them away from radiators, fireplaces, and sunlight.

Keeping your tree out of view from passers-by is advised to keep your home safe from burglars and thieves during the festive season.

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How often should you water a real Christmas tree?

Maintaining the fragrant scent of your tree is easily done with consistent watering.

Samantha explained: “The freshest smells that linger throughout your home may be the reason you choose a real tree over a fake one.

“To keep this warming fragrance, check the stand daily for water levels.

“A well-watered tree allows it to ‘breathe’ and circulate the beautiful smells around the home.

She added despite common belief, drilling holes in your tree won’t do anything to increase its root mass, so skip this step as the additional effort will only take away from its water retention.

Can you keep a Christmas tree outside?

Real trees are more familiar with outdoor conditions than the warmth inside our homes, so keeping them outside will undoubtedly prolong their lifespan.

Samantha recommends keeping the tree outside in the garden through the earliest part of December.

She added: “If you have the space, keeping your tree outside will add some festive cheer to the exterior of your home and will ensure you have the healthiest, freshest tree for the big celebration of Christmas day.”

Look out for dropped fir needles

Samantha’s final tip for a fresher Christmas tree is to keep an eye on fallen needles.

Not only will they make your home look cluttered and pose a dangerous snack for pets, but they could be a sign of an unhealthy tree.

Samantha explained: “It’s a bad sign if needles are dropping from your tree, or if there are brittle branches.

“This could be because there isn’t enough water – in which case, you should check your reservoir of water and add some ice cubes to keep the water cool.”

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