Take good care of your real Christmas tree and it’ll last you right through Christmas and beyond Twelfth Night into the New Year!
Christmas trees are fantastic value for money, lending not just a traditional splash of festive cheer but also a delicious scent of pine and a sparkling decoration for the corner of your living room.
To make sure your tree lasts as long as possible, place it in a traditional reservoir-type stand. These allow you to immerse the base of the tree’s trunk in water, just like you would cut flowers. Keep the water topped up right through Christmas so the tree never goes thirsty: it can drink up to a litre of water a day, so check every morning and add more if required.
Next, make sure you put your tree in the right place so it’s comfortable: this prevents premature needle loss and makes sure it looks at its best for many weeks. Keep your tree away from direct heat sources such as open fires, heaters, or direct sunlight, and make sure there’s plenty of room around it for the air to circulate. The hotter the room, the drier the atmosphere and the faster your tree will lose its needles – so try to keep the room on the cool side when you’re not using it.
Once Twelfth Night comes around it’s time to take down your tree and recycle it. Many councils arrange collecting points for trees, or you can take it to your local tip. Alternatively, recycle it at home. Strip the needles off and use them to mulch acid-loving plants like blueberries and rhododendrons, then cut the branches into similar lengths to stack in an out-of-the-way corner of the garden, where it will act as the perfect haven for all sorts of wildlife from frogs and toads to stag beetles.