Do you know how to keep your Christmas tree looking its best until after Christmas? If you don't, you may want to take some tips from a local expert. I spoke with Shane Clouse of Pink Grizzly Greenhouse and Montana Wreaths in Missoula, which has been selling locally-cut Christmas trees to Montanans since 1978.

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Cut An Inch Off The Bottom

Credit: Benny Edwin
Credit: Benny Edwin
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This tree was cut from its roots, so the tar inside the tree is already beginning to harden, leading to moisture loss.

If you buy your tree from Pink Grizzly, they will do this for you, or you can do it at home. Clouse explained that fir trees contain a natural pine tar, and after the tree is cut down this tar will dry up, acting as a sealant.

If you want your tree to look its best until you recycle it after Christmas, cutting an inch off the bottom will prevent the tar from sealing the tree trunk, allowing it to soak up the water.

How To Keep It Watered

Once the tree is cut down, it no longer has access to its roots which give it water, and therefore will begin to rot. Clouse explained that while watering your tree is necessary, you want to water it properly.

Keep it in water for the first two days, after that they get "full." It's amazing how much water they soak up. Do that right away and they won't dry out. After the first two days they really don't take much more [water]. A lot of people make that mistake where they won't water the tree and it dries up.

Keep The Tree Away From Excessive Heat

Aside from Christmas trees being a dangerous fire hazard (U.S. fire departments report an average of 160 home fires every year where Christmas trees caught on fire) any excessive heat can cause browning. Keep the tree away from baseboard heaters, wood stoves, fireplaces and even computers.

The City Of Missoula has more on seasonal fire safety information. We hope you stay safe & thank you for supporting local businesses during the holiday season!

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