Frequently Asked Questions
(Q) How can I perform a
"freshness test" on my tree?
Gently grasp a branch between your thumb and forefinger and pull it toward you.
Very few needles should come off in your hand if the tree is fresh. Shake or
bounce the tree on its stump. You should not see an excessive amount of green
needles fall to the ground. Some loss of interior brown needles is normal and
will occur over the lifetime of a tree.
(Q) Is there anything else I can
do, aside from watering my tree, to keep it fresh?
(A) The best secret for
keeping your tree fresh is water, water, water. Once you get your tree you want
to cut 1/4 inch off the end and put it immediately into water be sure to store
your tree in a cool, shaded place out of the sun, such as a covered porch or a
garage, until you’re ready to set up your tree. Even during that time you need
to keep your tree in a bucket of water. The best thing you can do to keep your
tree fresh is to make sure it never runs out of water. When buying your tree,
make sure you do the "freshness test" to ensure you are buying a fresh
(Q) How do I properly care for
1. Give your tree a fresh
cut when you purchase your tree, and put the tree in water right away
even if your not going to put it up right away. If not put in water right
away the trees sap starts to harden on the fresh cut, blocking water flow.
- If you are going to put up
later keep in garage or cover area is best and also to give it another fresh
cut if possible (if not still ok).
2. Pick a spot in you
house away from any heating/cooling vents where air will not be blowing on the tree, this
helps keeps the tree from drying out as well as keeping it from causing a
3. Check your tree at
least everyday for water in stand, they need lots of water!
(Q) How long will my tree stay
(A) If a tree is properly
cared for and watered, it can last up to 3 or 4 weeks.
(Q) Should I add anything to the
water in the tree stand to help it stay fresh?
This is a question we always get asked. People have either seen TV or newspaper
advertisements for products that you add to the water in your tree stand. Others
have concocted their own mixtures, with ingredients such as sugar, bleach, 7-Up,
syrup, pennies, or the ever-popular vodka. Dr. Gary Chastagner, a
researcher at Washington State University, has been working with Christmas
trees, and his findings suggest that your best bet is plain old tap water. The
NCTA does not endorse any
additive. Your tree will stay fresh with just plain water.
(Q) What kind of tree stand
should I use and how big should it be?
(A) There are several
different types and styles of tree stands to choose from. The most important
characteristic is water capacity. A good rule-of-thumb is one quart for every
inch in diameter of the tree’s trunk. For example, the average six foot tree
has a trunk with a four inch diameter, so the tree stand should hold 1 gallon of
water. You should also make sure the stand "fits" the tree -- if it is
too big or too small it might cause the tree to tip over. Do NOT trim the sides
of the trunk to fit it in a stand -- trees drink from the sides near the trunk.
Ask the retailer if you need advice.
(Q) What if my tree doesn’t
seem to be absorbing water in the stand?
(A) If you’ve followed all
the care tips (keep it out of sun and wind, as well as making a fresh cut off
the base before setting it up indoors) there are a couple of things to consider.
First, if you cut your own tree at a choose and cut farm, it will not absorb
water right away since it has not had time to begin drying out. Second, the best
indicator of dryness is the tree itself, not the water level in the stand.
(Q) What if I forgot to make a
fresh cut off the base of the tree before setting it up?
(A) Trees begin to form a sap seal over the stump
within 4 to 6 hours and it will not absorb
water. If this happens, you can really only do 2 things: either take all
decorations off and the tree out of the stand and make a fresh cut, or drill
holes into the trunk ˝ in. deep , ˝ in. apart. This might allow the tree to
start absorbing water. But once this is done, be sure to keep the water level
above the holes.
(Q) What kind of cut should I
(A) Although some people make
angled cuts thinking it helps the tree absorb more water, this is not true. A
thin, (1/4 in.) horizontal cut is best for stability.
(Q) Do Real Trees present the
type of fire hazard we are often told about?
(A) The National Fire
Protection Association tracks fires and their causes. According to their data,
of all residential fires, Real Christmas Trees are involved in less than 1/10 of
one percent (0.1%). Keep that in mind if you see a sensational blazing tree on
the "Action News". These trees are often doused in a flammable liquid
or cut many months prior to harvest time. A properly watered tree should not be
a fire hazard.
(Q) Should I be concerned about
bugs being in a tree?
(A) In most climates, bugs
are dormant long before December. There are a few instances where insects can be
cocooned on the tree and the warm temperature in a house will bring them out.
However, this is very rare. Thumping the tree on the ground before bringing it
into the home will alleviate most potential problems while also eliminating dead
(Q) What is the best species of
(A) The best species is
the one YOU like best. Read through the tree
information on our website and find the one
that has the most characteristics you desire, then have fun shopping
for just the right tree!
(Q) Should I be concerned if my
tree loses a few interior needles?
(A) No. Evergreen trees
lose a portion of their needles each fall. Needles shed naturally after
two to five years of growth depending on the species. Those brown dry
needles you see on the floor come from inside the evergreen. They fall out
after the first frosts in October and on through the winter. This cycle is
their normal life routine and accounts for the carpet of needles on the ground
on the evergreen forest. To help prevent some of the needle shed inside
your house, before you give your tree a fresh cut, stamp your tree on the
ground a few times and shake well to dislodge all dry interior needles.
(Q) Can I bring my dog?
(A) Yes, your dogs are welcome
on a leash. We request that you bring a plastic bag and pick up the poop and put
in the trash cans, and try and keep them from peeing on the trees.
(Q) Do you take credit cards?
(A) Yes we accept Visa, MasterCard,
American Express, and Discover. We also accept cash, and personal checks.
(Q) When do the Reindeer visit
the Seattle location?
(A) Juno is there for 2 weekend
in December, normally the second and third weekend. You can always call to
check if she's there.
(Q) Does Santa visit your tree
(Q) What do I do with my tree
after the holidays?
(A) Contact your local garbage
service and see if they accept trees. Also some boy scout troop will pick
them up. Your garbage provider should have more information on how and
when to dispose/recycle your tree.
of these frequently asked questions are from National Christmas Tree Association
Information from: http://www.realchristmastrees.org/home.html