We are asked every year by new ‘real tree’ customers, ‘is there anything we need to do to look after our tree?’ After 20 years, we have seen just about everything so below is a brief summary to help you get the most from you tree.
First things first, trees are natural, living things like you or I and as such, they are all unique and behave differently. There is no set amount of time that they will last or no definitive amount of needles they should lose at any time. All aspects of your tree will have been impacted by the input of Mother Nature. No matter how hard we work on them, we can’t change the natural environment and while some years are perfect for Christmas Trees, others are less so!
So here are the things to keep in mind:
- Your tree is a perishable product which is going to die once cut from the roots and taken into the warmth of your home. You can’t stop this process, merely slow it down and as growers we can offer no guarantees on longevity. Outdoors in the cold, your tree will last till well into Spring.
- Keep your tree watered, as you would a bunch of flowers. Your tree will drink water in the first instance which will help extend its lifespan. However, at some point, you will notice that it stops taking up any water. This is normal and to be expected.
- Heat will dry you tree out quicker, so to maximise its lifespan, keep away from direct sources of heat such as a hot radiator or a real fire. Also, many modern houses have underfloor heating which is not a friend to your real tree as it potentially evaporates the water from the stand as quick as the tree can drink.
- All trees loose needles, but some varieties last longer than others as their needles and fuller and longer, hence they take longer to dry out. As a basic guide, fir varieties hold their needles the best, so Nordmann Fir and Fraser Fir are the most popular.
- Your tree will lose needles, don’t worry, sweep them up and go have a glass of wine, its Christmas and in scheme of things a few needles are not the end of the world!!
The next big question is why buy real Christmas trees?
- They are entirely natural and as such the most environmentally sound choice for your Christmas tree.
- Christmas trees are grown for the market in plantations. In our own plantations, we have seen the improvements this has brought as they have created habitat the previously didn’t exist.
- Beneficiaries are small mammals, song birds, insects and birds of prey, all of which we have seen an increase of since our plantations have matured.
- Trees are harvested in winter when the harvest has minimal impact on these animals. During the Spring, when its breeding season, we have a hive of life and activity.
- The plantations help increase the air quality as with all trees, they exchange the carbon dioxide in the air for oxygen.
- For every tree harvested, at least one new baby tree is planted. It will take approximately 8 years for this to reach the average height at which it will be sold.
- We recycle any trees returned to us and use the chippings as animal bedding which then is used to return to the land as fertiliser. Alternatively, when you walk through the plantations, you will be walking on the wood chippings of previous year’s trees, these will biodegrade into the soil and then the circle of life is complete.
- Buying from your local, specialist Christmas Tree Farm, not only helps the local economy, it will be an enjoyable experience, out in the fresh air, making fabulous Christmas memories that last a lifetime.