It's almost time for that most sacred of holiday traditions. The one where you sweep up pine needles for the next six months.
It's not an entirely avoidable situation, but you can mitigate the annual disaster by taking steps to keep your Christmas tree fresh and vibrant. Here are a few tips that will make your Christmas tree the envy of dendrophiles and people who settled for an artificial tree.
1. Make Sure It's Fresh
You want to start with a fresh tree. If you aren't cutting it down yourself, Marsha Gray, Director of Communications at the National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA), recommends this test. "Gently draw your hand down a branch," she says. "If a few needles come away, that is fine. If quite a few needles come off, particularly green needles, that tree may be dry and you may want to select another."
Additionally, with the NCTA projecting a Christmas Tree shortage, buy early may increase your chances of getting a fresh one.
2. Fresh Cut on Base
Once you've picked that perfect fir, get a fresh cut on the base of the tree. The place you buy your tree should do it for you. Gray says getting a half-inch off the bottom should do the trick.