Christmas trees are just amazing; they bring joy to all and a symbol of the holiest holidays of all – Christmas. That is why it’s always such a shame when it’s time to take them down. As we all know, nothing lasts forever. At some point in time, your Christmas tree will begin to show signs that it’s no longer alive and that it’s time for it to go.
On average live Christmas trees can last as long as six weeks after being cut. But the thing is, we aren’t usually told when the Christmas tree we’re buying was cut. We can only go by certain signs to tell us that it’s time to take it down.
About how long does a live Christmas tree last?
A Christmas tree’s life span mostly depends on the type of tree it is. Surprising as it might be, cut Christmas trees tend to survive longer indoors than living ones.
- Cut Christmas trees – The life span here varies, depending on which species you go with. Some Christmas trees can survive up to only four weeks once cut, while others(like the Nordmann fir) can easily make it to six.
- Living, potted Christmas trees – A real, live, potted Christmas tree can only live up to 12 days indoors. Leave it a bit longer, and its health will begin to deteriorate, lowering its chances of survival when put back out into the cold. However, if you’re sure a potted Christmas tree is what you want, go for a pot grown tree, rather than one uprooted from the ground and replanted into a pot.
What factors affect the Christmas tree’s lifespan?
There are a few factors that may stunt your Christmas tree’s lifespan.
- Placing your Christmas tree close to a radiator, air conditioner, or any other source of heat. This will dry the tree and force it to shed its needles.
- Leaving sap form on the bottom of the trunk will prevent the tree from “drinking” its fair share of water, forcing it to wither faster.
- Not watering the tree daily enough can resort to it dying (and fast at that).
Signs that it’s time to get rid of your live Christmas tree
- Pines have turned brown – People sometimes forget to water their Christmas tree regularly, which leads to the tree’s pines going brown. If you notice that this has happened to your tree, take it down ASAP. Dried out pines are extremely flammable and pose a risk to your wellbeing.
- The tree has lost its smell – If you notice that your tree has lost its piney smell, it might be a sign that it has to go. This phenomenon is a sign that the tree has begun to wither away. It usually occurs when the tree hasn’t been watered properly.
- The pine needles start falling – Has your Christmas tree begun to shed its needles furiously? Then that might mean it has lost its ability to hold in moisture. At this point, it’s best to get rid of the tree as soon as you can. Not only is it a pain to clean all the fallen needless, but also quite the fire hazard.
- The tree’s branches have begun to snap – When a Christmas tree starts drying out, its branches will be more likely to snap under pressure.
- The tree is no longer drinking water – If your Christmas tree is no longer absorbing the water, you’re pouring into the stand, and there’s a tree resin that’s built up at the base, it means that it’s probably time to take it down.
- Traditionalist signs – This one isn’t really a physical sign per se, more like one based on your beliefs. For example, if you’re superstitious, you might want to take down your on the 31st of December. It’s considered to give bad luck to keep your tree into the new year. For the more religious folks out there, the dates for getting rid of the Christmas tree are the fifth and sixth of January (as per the last of 12 days of Christmas belief).
Best tip for helping a live tree last as long as possible
The most important thing to keep in mind when you buy a real Christmas tree is to water it regularly. Most Christmas trees that die early are the ones that haven’t been watered properly. Therefore, don’t let sap build-up at the bottom of the trunk(scrape it or saw off a small piece of the base) and buy yourself a “water tank” type stand(this will make watering easy). Water your tree daily to keep it green and healthy.
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