Christmas is here, real or fake tree?

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Now that Thanksgiving has passed, we can all break out our Christmas decorations without feeling like it’s too soon.

At this point, the only decision that’s left is whether to put up a real tree or a reusable fake one.

Both have their advantages.

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While I haven’t put up a real Christmas tree in years, I fondly remember the aroma that fills a home hosting a real pine.

The big issue however is keeping the needles on the tree and preventing fires, which is mostly about maintaining the tree’s moisture level and reducing fire hazards.

That means a major factor to consider is the proximity of your real tree to heat sources. Fireplaces, heaters and any other source of heat should be kept a safe distance from your temporary Christmas display to minimize any fire hazards.

While we’re on that topic, ensure the lights you install on the tree are safe by examining the wiring for any shorts and faulty bulbs or fuses. If you find damage, it’s time for a new set. When looking for that new set, buy lights that produce the least amount of heat; LED bulbs are the most energy efficient and create the least amount of heat.

If at all possible, find a farm that allows you to cut the tree yourself to ensure the longest life of your temporary decoration.

Now that you have reduced any fire hazard and found the perfect tree, before putting your fresh cut tree in a stand, cut off half an inch of the trunk to ensure the tree can effectively absorb water from the stand.

Avoid removing any of the bark or outer layers to make the tree fit in the stand, since most of the water absorbing properties of the tree are located there.

And finally, keep water in the stand to ensure minimal needle loss and prevent excessive drying. Once the season is over, discard your tree properly as soon as possible.

If you opted for a fake tree, all you have to do is store it in a dust free location.