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Old 07.01.2020, 11:35
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Xmas Tree - Lessons Learnt

We got our first real Christmas tree this time. Cut it down from Dubendorf forest on 30 November. So it was as fresh as it could be, From cutting it down to having it in water was probably 30 - 60 mins

It lasted well up until probably Christmas, so 3-4 weeks. But just before Christmas it stopped taking water. There was none being taking from the base. And the entire time I made sure the tree always had a full bowl, it never ran dry.

After Christmas it completely dried, as it would not taking water! I did regularly spray, although not sure it helped. By the time it was New Years, the pines were really dropping off, and after 1 Jan, the decorations even started to fall. We took it out the flat on the 5 Jan, What a mess that was!

When I put it out for recycling, I saw on the base it had kind of small white pyramids of mold, I also noticed the tree water had a bit of mold in it.

So my question is, did the tree dry out and stop taking water because 3-4 weeks is the most you can really hope for out of a cut down tree, or would it have lasted longer if it wasnt for this white mold on the cut base? Could I have done something to stop the mold, or to ensure water could be taken by the tree for a bit longer?
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Old 07.01.2020, 11:42
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Re: Xmas Tree - Lessons Learnt

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So my question is, did the tree dry out and stop taking water because 3-4 weeks is the most you can really hope for out of a cut down tree, or would it have lasted longer if it wasnt for this white mold on the cut base? Could I have done something to stop the mold, or to ensure water could be taken by the tree for a bit longer?

I reckon it was too long.

I good rule of thumb is pretend a tree is a bunch of cut flowers. Stick them in a vase and how long do you thing they'll last - a week, two if you're lucky (a day or two if they're form Coop)?

We get ours on 18th Dec and it was fine for the duration.

If you want a tree to hang around for 1/12 of a year then get a plastic one.
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Old 07.01.2020, 11:57
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Re: Xmas Tree - Lessons Learnt

Learned from my husband that you get the tree literally days before Xmas, max 10 as otherwise it dries out. We typically go it around the 18th and kept I until Jan 6th (or therrabout) and by then was always completely dried.

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Old 07.01.2020, 12:57
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Re: Xmas Tree - Lessons Learnt

We also cut down our tree ourselves, and even when it's only been 1 hour, from forest to flat, I always give it a fresh cut, about another cm or so off the base before putting it in water. As soon as the tree is cut, it will start exuding sap which seals off the cut and then it won't be able to take up water.

Also, the way they trim the bark off the ends here to make the trees fit the tree stand prevents the tree from taking up water. The water vessels are only in the layer right under the bark, so if that's shaved off, the tree won't be able to take water.

Our tree from Dec 21 is still super fresh, hasn't dropped a needle yet and still taking up water (though slower now). The Nordmann Tanne is a variety that keeps well.

I had a Christmas tree going for 2 months in Canada once. Finally took it down by Valentine's, but the buds had opened and it was growing fresh needles.
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Old 07.01.2020, 13:30
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Re: Xmas Tree - Lessons Learnt

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We also cut down our tree ourselves, and even when it's only been 1 hour, from forest to flat, I always give it a fresh cut, about another cm or so off the base before putting it in water. As soon as the tree is cut, it will start exuding sap which seals off the cut and then it won't be able to take up water.

Also, the way they trim the bark off the ends here to make the trees fit the tree stand prevents the tree from taking up water. The water vessels are only in the layer right under the bark, so if that's shaved off, the tree won't be able to take water.

Our tree from Dec 21 is still super fresh, hasn't dropped a needle yet and still taking up water (though slower now). The Nordmann Tanne is a variety that keeps well.

I had a Christmas tree going for 2 months in Canada once. Finally took it down by Valentine's, but the buds had opened and it was growing fresh needles.
Love the idea of a tree continuing to grow in one's home. Good vibes. I want to get one in a pot next, tbh.

We were incredibly lucky this time, tree was up for a month, green, really tall and happy, it took water just until now. The only thing was to get it home on public transport, it was hell and we made people smile (aside of poking them a lil). Ikea, 25fr.
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Old 07.01.2020, 13:47
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Re: Xmas Tree - Lessons Learnt

Beginner mistake.

You need to sing Christmas Carols so that the tree can get the Christmas Magic. Otherwise it will indeed dry out and die.
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Old 07.01.2020, 13:49
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Re: Xmas Tree - Lessons Learnt

Not just you. The whole car/train carriage needs to sing it. The Tannenbaum one.

Last edited by MusicChick; 07.01.2020 at 19:14.
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Old 07.01.2020, 14:42
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Re: Xmas Tree - Lessons Learnt

Our tree goes up the weekend directly following Thanksgiving (sometimes the weekend after that) and stays up until 4-10 days after New Years- so about 35 days total. Some are fresh cut, some from a tree lot, so time from actual felling varies. In 20 years, I have only lost needles once before XMAS. The rest stayed full and relatively moist for the entire period. They will start to drop needles at the end, so removal is expected to be a little messy. Thank goodness for the Shop Vac!

I'm particular to Douglas Fir, but have had several varieties over the years.
We too make a fresh perpendicular cut at the bottom, right before we put it in the stand. Not too particular about how often we water or how much. We do a 50/50 mixture of water and 7-Up (or Sprite) which we feel helps with the needles.
Talking to some colleagues this year about tree tips and tricks - a few do the same and I heard one say they add Tylenol into the water as their secret recipe.

We normally lay the tree on a sheet and wrap it up during removal to help with the messy needles. My best removal was when we had a flat right on the Thames. One dark night as the tide was going out, and woosh - right off the balcony. Never saw that tree again! That was also the year we got the tree and brought it home on the Tube during rush hour! "Excuse me." "Sorry." "So Sorry." "Pardon Me"...

Fun Fact: pine sap is hard to get off your hands, even with soap and water. After you wash, run your sappy hands through your hair. The natural oils will neutralize the remaining stickyness. I'm not taking the piss here. It really works.
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Old 15.01.2020, 20:42
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Re: Xmas Tree - Lessons Learnt

We got a potted tree from https://www.ecosapin.ch/ this year and were quite happy with the experience.
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