Care and fun facts for your real Christmas Tree
Each year 35 million American families bring a real Christmas tree into their homes to become a warm and glowing part of their holiday celebration.
In 1842 Charles Minnegerode introduced the custom in Williamsburg, Virginia. His tree was described as "splendidly decorated" with strings of popcorn, gilded nuts, and lighted candles. The fourteenth president of the United States, Franklin Pierce, was the first president to set up a Christmas Tree and the White House.
The enduring tree symbol remains a firmly established part of our holiday customs, engaging not only our senses of sight, touch and smell but also our sense of family, spirit and tradition.
A few simple care tips will enhance the enjoyment of your Christmas Tree and
keep it fresh and fragrant throughout the holiday season. When you bring the tree home, cut one-quarter inch off the base of the trunk. Keep the tree outdoors standing in a container of water, protected from the wind and and sun until you are ready to decorate. This will help the tree retain its moisture.
Before bringing the tree into your home and placing it in a stand, make a fresh cut a minimum of one-quarter inch off the base of the trunk. This opens the tree stem so it can take up water. Immediately place your tree in the stand and fill it with fresh water. If you allow the water to drop below the fresh cut, it will form a new seal of the stem. Trees are very thirsty and may drink between 2 pints to a gallon of water per day. Check the stand daily and supply fresh water as needed.
Check all electrical lights and connections before decorating your tree and home. Do not use lights with worn or frayed cords and NEVER use lighted candles on your tree. Don't overload electrical circuits. Place your tree away from fireplaces, radiators, heater vents, television sets and any other heat sources. These elements can prematurely dry you tree. Make sure to turn off all decorations before bed and any time you leave the home.
Your tree has uses after the holiday. Place it in a garden or backyard to use as a bird feeder; orange slices, bread and suet will attract birds and brighten up the winter landscape. In addition, your tree is biodegradable; its branches and trunk may be removed and used as mulch in your garden. Branch tips and needles provide aromatic stuffing for sachets.