Look after your tree this Christmas

Josh Lyle, owner of Pines and Needles, said despite Christmas trees being a long-standing tradition, millions of Britons were still unsure how to look after them.

We still find that people aren’t aware of the care their tree needs, cutting the bottom 3cms off your tree once you get it home is vital, as is watering it. Trees need around three pints of water a day, especially if the central heating is on full blast.

Here are his top tips to look after your tree:

Prepare the trunk 

Just before you install your tree, saw off the bottom 1” (3cm) of the trunk. This creates a fresh cut and opens up the pores in the bark, which otherwise can block up with sap within a few hours of being cut. The tree is then able to drink water through these pores via capillary action. We do this to all our trees so you don’t have to!

Keep it away from any heat sources

Position your Christmas tree away from any heat sources such as radiators and fireplaces. Heat dries out your tree faster, so the further from potentially damaging heat sources the better, and the fresher your tree will remain.

They need routine

Do not expose your tree to sudden changes in temperature. Trees like most people are creatures of habit and prefer steady conditions.

Water your tree

Place your tree in plain water – not soil or sand which would block the pores in the bark. This is best achieved by using a specially designed Christmas Tree Stand. Many precious hours can be wasted trying to make a Christmas Tree stand up straight in an ordinary bucket using just bricks or stones!

Then keep on watering it!

Keep the Christmas tree stand topped up with water. Your Christmas tree may drink 2-3 pints (1-2 litres) of water per day, depending on its size and your central heating settings. This is very important as once the water level drops below the tree’s trunk, sap will re-seal the bark within a few hours, preventing the tree from drinking any further water even if you then re-fill the Christmas tree stand.

Timing is everything 

These trees are natural living things, and once they are cut they begin to die, sad as this is apart from artificial trees we are still without a solution to this simple fact of life. Time the arrival of your tree with this in mind to increase longevity and get the most out of it.

But what about decorating?:

  • It may sound obvious, but two people are better than one if that’s possible – even if it’s just for the lights. Lights go on first and it’s great if one person can feed them to the other as they wind it round and round, starting at the bottom. Embed the lights in the lush greenery and then move out as you go up.

  • The heavier the decorations the more you’ll need to keep them away from the tips of the branches. Everyone has a different way of decorating but themes look good, whether that’s a colour or a certain style such as Scandi (sparse; red and white) or Victorian (wooden decorations, dried fruit, pine cones).

  • Tinsel has been dying out for a while but ribbon is en vogue, but go horizontally rather than at an angle – it’s a much cleaner look.

But arguably the biggest change in Samuel’s business since he started it more than 20 years ago is the extra services customer demand.

Given the year we’ve had, it’s no surprise that online delivery bookings are through the roof – people are more determined than ever to make this Christmas one to remember. We are up 35% on where we were at this point last year and online slots for delivery are selling at an incredible rate.

 

A dog’s for life not just for Christmas! 

This year dog sales have increased at a rapid pace and Sam is already receiving lots of questions on how to ‘puppy-proof’ your Christmas tree!

Height 

If you have a very young puppy or a very excited one, maybe think about getting a smaller tree and placing it on a side table instead of on the ground so that puppy can’ t reach it. If you can’t bear to part with your bigger, ceiling-topping tree, try and secure the tree to the wall using hooks that don’t leave wall marks so that no matter how much tugging puppy does, the tree will stand tall!

Location 

It’s really important to think about where you’re placing your Christmas tree. You want it to be the pride of place, where you can enjoy it all festive season but you also want it in a low traffic area to keep the tree and your decorations that little bit safer from inquisitive puppies!

 

Go bare at first 

Before you decorate your Christmas tree, leave it up for a few days so that your pooch can get used to having a tree in the house. That way they’ll be less interested in it and more likely to leave it alone once it’s decorated and has lights and baubles hanging off it!

 

Electrical wires 

You need to be super careful with any electrical wires leading from your tree to a plug socket, not only could your pup get tangled in them but there’s also a risk of an electrical shock if they’re a chewer. Try hiding any wires or having them higher up if possible.

 

Ornaments 

It goes without saying, any fragile ornaments or particularly sentimental ones, should go higher up on the tree so your dog doesn’t go for them. Not only will you lose your gorgeous decorations but it could be a choking hazard or cause paw or mouth injuries.

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