Find everything you need to know to keep your evergreen fresh and contain the inevitable mess.
Nothing announces the holiday season quite like a fresh conifer. But, as it’s often as tall as you are and prickly all over, a Christmas tree can be quite challenging to manoeuvre. Spring for the optional plastic bag for easy transport, and don’t rush to pull it off. Once the tree is indoors, cut a hole in the bottom of the bag large enough to poke the trunk through, and insert it in a tree stand. Pull the bag down, flatten it around the base of the stand and conceal it with a decorative tree skirt. When you’re ready to say goodbye to the holidays, carefully remove the skirt and shake the needles off outside. Then simply pull the bag back over the tree and haul it out with minimal mess.
Needle in a haystack
Vacuuming tree needles out of carpeting can seem like mission impossible, but it doesn’t have to. Sprinkle the area with baking soda to neutralize stickiness from sap. Then, target needles individually with the crevice attachment. In future, to minimize the problem, choose an extra-large tree skirt.
What’s your type?
Before heading out with wallet or axe in hand, get informed about the most popular tree types.
Fraser fir: Known for its sturdy, well-spaced branches ( ideal for ornaments) and superior needle retention, this high-end tree can be pricey.
Balsam fir: A less expensive alternative to the Fraser, it has similarly stiff branches and a nice woodsy scent.
Eastern white pine: With slender, wispy branches bearing soft needles and a light fragrance (great for allergy sufferers), it’s a delicate option.
Size matters Make sure your tree stand is large enough to contain sufficient water. A good rule of thumb is four cups of water per every inch of the trunk’s diameter.
Remove stubborn sticky sap from carpeting and fabrics by hardening it with bagged ice and then scraping it off. For walls, wipe it away with a bit of baby oil; afterward, remove the oil with dish soap and water.
Dos and don'ts
Do: Have a pro make a fresh cut at the trunk’s bottom, and put the tree up right away. Keep it in constant contact with water.
Don't: Saw the trunk at an angle or in a V shape, or drill a hole in it. These methods won’t aid water uptake.
If you opt for a faux tree, mimic the fresh scent of a real conifer with one of these products.
Fill your room with the fragrance of eucalyptus and pine with this designer tool. Jo Malone London diffuser in Pine & Eucalyptus, Holt Renfrew, $95.
Tuck these discreet green stick-shaped ornaments into your tree for a month’s worth of fir aroma. Scentsicles ornaments in White Winter Fir, Bed Bath & Beyond, $14 per pack of 8.
Poured in festive green glass, this candle emits a jolly woodsy scent as it burns. Scented candle in Snowy Pine & Fir Balsam, Indigo, $20.