Keeping the Christmas tree green

December 2, 2011

Agriculture

One of the reasons people choose artificial Christmas trees over live ones is upkeep. Dry, dead trees are messy and present a fire hazard, artificial tree proponents say.

However, there are ways to keep a live tree green and safe throughout the holiday season. Here are a few tips from the Mississippi State University Extension Center:

• Place trees in water immediately after cutting. The ratio is one quart of water per inch of tree diameter.

• Initially add approximately one to two tablespoons of corn syrup and a 1/2 teaspoon of bleach to water. (Corn syrup provides trees with sugar; the bleach helps prevent mold.)

• Do not place trees in direct sunlight or near heater vents.

• Decorative lights should be unplugged when away from home or when sleeping. Discard lights that are cracked or have frayed wires.

• To keep children from pulling on the tree or ornaments, elevate a smaller tree on a platform to keep them out of reach.

• Cut trees should be set out for trash pick-up after they dry.

• Never burn old trees in the fireplace.

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