Christmas will be here before you know it! The day after Thanksgiving is usually the day the family decorates the Christmas Tree. For many people buying a Christmas tree is a family event. Choosing the right tree, getting it home, putting it up, and then decorating is an exciting experience which both children and adults look forward to, and for many marks the true arrival of Christmas into the home.
The joy of seeing the look on children’s faces when they see their first Christmas Tree brought into the home is only hindered by the knowledge that its arrival also means a bit more work each day to care for the Christmas tree and keep the house looking neat and tidy.
So here are our tips on how to care for your Christmas tree and look after your carpets and floors…
- Position –Think about where to position your tree, as people brushing past it which will encourage needles to drop quicker, meaning you will spend more time vacuuming!
- Measure– Don’t forget to measure the height and width of where you want to put the tree and take a tape measure with you when you are buying.
- Type of tree – There are lots of varieties of trees available, some are better at retaining their needles than others. Get advice from your retailer or do your research online. However, don’t forget that if you have a real tree you will always get a certain amount of needle dropping regardless of variety.
- Cut, rooted or container trees – The sort of tree you buy will determine the type of container you use and how you look after them. Cutting half an inch from a tree trunk that has already been cut will enable easier intake of water.
- Fresh is best – Test before you buy – branches should not be brittle and outer needles should not fall off the tree when it is gently shaken.
- Tree stand safety– Make sure you have the right size tree stand (with a container to water the tree) especially if you have children (touching decorations especially chocolate ones!) or cats (who think you have supplied them with a scratching pole!). It should be wide enough to support the tree and make good contact with the floor. Having to taper the tree trunk to fit the stand means you need a bigger stand to prevent it toppling over and becoming a safety issue to your family and home.
- Deep carpets– To protect the carpet and ensure that the tree stand has a solid standing, cut out a sturdy piece of plywood for the base of the tree to stand on. Use a tree skirt or Christmas wrapping paper to hide the wood and tree stand.
- Hard floors – Tree stands can easily scratch hardwood floors so put a non-skid piece of carpeting or similar non-slip mat under the stand.
- General carpet protection – It’s a good idea to place some plastic sheeting (with non-slip tape) and a scrap piece of carpet under the tree stand to protect hardwood floors and carpets from accidental water spills, leaks, and weight marks. It also makes it easier to clean up when the tree is removed.
- Avoid direct heat– A dry tree is a fire hazard so keeping it away from direct heat is important. The risks of being too close to an open fire are obvious, but being too close to radiators and not watering adequately will not only dry out the tree but also limit the tree’s ability to maintain its shape and sheen and will encourage faster needle shedding.
- Water daily – Whether it is a cut, rooted or container tree they all need watering daily. You will be surprised at how much water they actually require.
- A long spouted watering can enable easier watering, but care should be taken not to let the tree base overflow as this will spill onto your carpet and create a damp area which could then develop mildew and mold.
- Sweep or vacuum regularly to clear any needles, whilst at the same time taking care not to knock branches or the tree trunk as this will cause more needles to drop off!
- Stubborn needles– To clear needles that have lodged into carpets, rugs and between the slats of a wooden floor use the smaller attachments on your vacuum or use some duct tape to pull them out.
Caring for your Christmas Tree is well worth the effort to clean and maintain. The twinkling lights and the wonderful pine smell truly make Christmas enjoyable!