Q: Why Did My Christmas Tree Die? A: It Has No Roots
After the second frost, it goes into a dormant stage; it essentially falls asleep, and remains dormant throughout the harvest. Once you put it in water, it “wakes up” and realizes that its roots are missing. The tree will still need to absorb all the water it can to live as long as possible. It can drink up to a gallon a day! The important thing to remember is the tree absorbs 90% of the water between the bark and the “meat” of the tree. Many people try to “trim down” the trunk so it will better fit into a stand. We guarantee this will kill the tree! Try selecting a tree with a narrow trunk, or choosing a new style of stand. We offer peg-type stands that fit these extra large trunks. A tree from our lot is pre-drilled to fit these stands for a perfect, straight fit.
To ensure the long healthy life of your tree, follow these tips:
First of all, we strongly recommend a fresh cut on the bottom of your tree. A ½ inch or less is all you need to reopen the water-absorbing pores in the trunk. We can provide this service for you. For you familiar customers, you may hear us refer to this trimming as a “butt cut”.
Acclimating Your Tree:
It is a good idea to acclimate your tree to a warm indoor climate. Start by taking the tree into the garage for the night- a medium temperature between house and outdoors.
Let’s debunk the many folklore concerning what to add to your tree’s water to keep your tree fresh. We have heard just about everything over the years: sugar, plant food, aspirin, chlorine, even a catheter inserted into the tree bark. We assure you, the best treatment you can give is clean, fresh water! Start with warm water to loosen up the tree sap, then continue adding fresh room-temperature tap water every day. Make sure your tree never runs out of water, because if it does it will then stop taking in water, dry out, lose needles, and die.
A Little Note About Grand Firs:
Falling needles are very common in healthy, watered trees. Do not panic if there are a few ones at the base of your tree. Be sure to shake your tree vigorously before bringing it into your home. The reason for this is that the needles towards the trunk of this species do not get adequate sunlight due to their lushness. They die and fall into the center of the tree.
Healthy Tree Test:
The real test for a good tree is at the end of the branch: firmly grasp the branch, pull outward in one smooth motion. You will note that very few, if any needles will loosen on a healthy tree. There is also a scratch test and testing the rigidity of a needle will prove the tree healthy. There are two ways of performing a scratch test. The first way is to scratch the under side of a needle and the other is to scratch the bark. When performing the procedure you are looking for moistness in the cambium layer. The other thing you may try is picking a needle from the tree and snapping it between your fingers. You want it to snap like crisp celery.