If you have not picked out your perfect tree for this season, here are a few tips about picking one out.
Bringing home a tree is not the end of the work though. Proper care for the tree once it is in your house may help it stay looking good throughout the holiday season.
If selecting a cut tree, watch for these signs that the tree is too far gone.
• Needles are a dull, grayish-green color
• Needles fail to ooze pitch when broken apart and squeezed
• Needles feel stiff and brittle
• Needles pull easily off tree
Once you have your tree home, recut the trunk about one inch above the original cut. This will open up clogged, water-conducting tissues. Immediately place the trunk in warm water.
Locate the tree in as cool a spot as possible. Avoid areas near fireplaces, wood-burning stoves and heat ducts as the heat will result in excess water loss. Make sure the reservoir stays filled.
If the reservoir loses enough water that the bottom of the trunk is exposed, the trunk will need to be recut. Adding aspirins, copper pennies, soda pop, sugar and bleach to the water reservoir have not been shown to prolong the life of a tree.
Alicia Boor is an Agriculture and Natural Resources agent in the Cottonwood District (which includes Barton and Ellis counties) for K-State Research and Extension. You can contact her by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 620-793-1910