There’s nothing quite like the look and smell of a real Christmas tree to bring some festive magic to your home.
But some people worry that their lovingly decorated centrepiece will be dropping its needles and turning brown before the first gift is even unwrapped.
So, how can you make sure that the tree you had such fun choosing and decorating lasts longer than the first lot of mince pies?
Here’s our handy guide to taking care of your real Christmas tree:
The first thing to do is to make sure you are buying the best possible tree.
Before you even leave the house, it may be an idea to measure the height of your room and how much space you have for a Christmas tree to ensure you don’t get carried away and buy one that’s too big for where you want it to sit.
Once at your chosen Christmas tree supplier, take the time to look carefully at what’s in front of you and even get the advice of the staff as to which sort of tree will best suit you and your home.
There are various sorts of fir and spruce trees available and some hold their needles better than others.
A good tree should look green and glossy, with few brown needles. Run your hands through it and if there’s a shower of needles, the tree may not stand the test of time.
Once you have chosen your tree and managed to squash it into the car to get it home, there are more things you can – and should do – before you start decking it out in lights and baubles.
If you don’t intend to set it up straight away, stand it outside in a bucket of water until you are ready to bring it in.
If you are ready to deck it out, it’s still worth taking it outside and giving it a gentle (very gentle!) shake to get rid of any loose foliage – or creepy crawlies – and if you can, saw off a few centimetres from the bottom of the trunk to enable it to better take up water.
Dehydration is the biggest enemy of fresh Christmas trees, so as soon as it’s cut, put the trunk into water and make sure it is topped up regularly.
Once inside the house, you need to carefully consider where you are going to locate your tree.
Ideally it should be a cool spot away from direct sunlight and any sources of heat. This can be tricky in some living rooms, so it may have to be a compromise but if you have a choice keep it away from radiators and sunny windows.
It’s also a good idea to place it somewhere it is not going to get knocked about too much.
Once you’ve picked your spot you can set the tree up in its stand and once secure start the fun bit of adding the decorations.
Add the bigger baubles and chunkier decorations to the larger bottom branches and keep the smaller ones for the finer branches towards the top to give your tree a balanced look. You may consider using wire to attach your decorations for greater control on where they sit than if you just hang them with string.
Keep an eye on the Christmas lights to make sure they are not scorching the leaves and, of course, keep topping the tree up with water to keep it looking its festive best throughout the whole Christmas season.
One other top tip is to keep the fruit bowl away from the Christmas tree – fruit gives off ethylene gas which affects plants and trees, making needles drop quicker.
What a great excuse to ditch the fruit in favour of chocolate!!!
Find your perfect tree at Birchgrove
We have Nordmann Trees from 3 ft to 9ft, Norway Spruce from 3ft to 7ft.
Pot grown Norway Spruce, Nordmann and Blue Spruce also available.
We also have Christmas tree stands and tubs.