Watering a Christmas tree sounds so easy to do, right? Well, not exactly. That’s probably why many people prefer an artificial Christmas tree to a real Christmas tree because they are much easier to maintain in your house during the holiday season. Watering real Christmas trees entails two things. The first is the intervals at which to water your tree, and the second is the ideal quantity of water to feed your tree.
Feeding water to Christmas trees is one of the several activities involved in showing proper care for them. Let’s get into the details by starting with what you need.
What You Need
- A freshly cut tree
- Watering can
- Tree stand
- A cutting object (saw or knife). I will explain its relevance later.
Step-by-Step Process for Watering Christmas Tree
Follow the steps below to water the trees properly:
- Use a hand to hold up the branches where the trunk goes into the tree stand.
- Add water via your watering can or an alternative object such as a bowl or cup.
- Ensure you fill the tree stand with enough water. It should be above the cut end of your Christmas tree trunk.
- Alternatively, if you want to avoid contact with the pine needles, you can use a funnel to feed water to your trees. You can also channel a hose from your tap to channel tap water to your trees without making contact with its branches.
Before Feeding Fresh Water to Your Christmas Tree
Usually, I recommend getting a tree stand before cutting down the Christmas tree. However, I understand that there are always exceptions to this rule. So if the fresh tree comes before the tree stand, you can preserve the Christmas tree by submerging it in a bucket of water immediately. Otherwise, you may have a dried-up tree in a few days.
You only need to immerse the cut end of the Christmas tree in the bucket of water. While at this, ensure you place the tree in a shaded and cool place to prevent it from drying out. This is essential if you won’t be setting up the Christmas tree for a few days. For the period you will keep your tree away, always check it at intervals to ensure that the water level is optimal for your tree.
For the ideal situation (where you already have the tree stand), I recommend measuring the dimensions (its depth, width, and height) of your tree stand before cutting your tree. This will help you know the perfect tree for it. It can be a real letdown to cut down a tree, only to later find out that it’s too big for your tree stand.
Also, examine the tree stand because some tree stands may contain certain elements that prevent some tree trunks from adequately fitting in. If the tree is not compatible with its stand, it won’t be able to absorb the water in it.
Some may resort to using a knife or saw to cut part of the trunk to force-fit the tree into the trunk. I don’t recommend this because it may affect the rate at which your tree absorbs water.
Water Levels of Christmas Trees
On average, a Christmas tree needs about 1 gallon of clean water daily. This is why it is essential to get a stand deep enough to contain the required water level for your tree. One rule that applies to water levels of Christmas trees is that the diameter or width of the tree determines the volume of water you will feed it to keep the tree fresh. During the first week, you’ll need to water the tree frequently. Once you notice the water going down, refill it to the brim of the stand.
I also recommend keeping the tree away from heat sources in your house because heat causes water to dry faster, and if you can’t keep up by refilling the stand when the water dries up, your tree wont be fresh for much longer.
The Best Kind of Water
Some believe adding sugar, preservatives, or other additives to tap water is better for tree growth. Also, they believe water with sugar tends to last longer, but this isn’t factual. I say plain water is enough for your fresh tree. The “effects” of these additives in your Christmas tree water haven’t been scientifically proven beneficial to your real Christmas tree. Save your bucks.
Frequency for Watering the Fresh Tree
There’s no one-for-all answer to this because it depends on the capacity of your tree stand. This means that the smaller the capacity of your tree stand, the higher the frequency of watering your tree and vice versa. Usually, if you’re using a tree stand with adequate capacity, you’ll only need to water it once a day.
The best time to do this can be in the evening before bed or first thing in the morning when you wake up. If your stand can’t take more than half a gallon of fresh water at once, you’ll need to fill it with water twice daily.
Common Watering Issue and How to Solve It
You may notice that your real Christmas tree is sporting brown needles instead of its usual rich green color. This indicates that your tree isn’t absorbing water from the stand. To solve this, get a saw and slice the tree trunk by an inch. Ensure you make this fresh cut at the trunk’s part below the edge of the tree stand. This fresh cut will be the opening through which your tree will absorb water.
Always ensure that the water is above the point where you made the cut to keep the tree fresh, or else the pine needles and even the tree itself will dry up.
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