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.