If you’re looking to bring in a natural Christmas tree that gives the greatest evergreen smell, Cliff Freund at CD Trees says there is one type that stands out when it comes to fragrance.
“Probably the balsam fir is the one that is most fragrant, albeit all the trees, they give you a real nice strong smell for the first couple of days and then after that you don't notice it very much,” he says.
Freund notes the natural trees will give a stronger pine smell when you are working with the branches, like when you are decorating it. Then, after a few days, that fragrance tends to go away.
But you don’t need to redecorate your tree every few days to keep that desired fragrance lingering in the house. Some people have learned an easy trick to keep the aroma going throughout the holidays.
“We also sell some boughs, just branches, and they buy a bundle of branches and then every day, they take and they crush a little bit, and put it into a place in their home and then they always have a fresh smell,” Freund reveals.
Can you make your natural Christmas tree stay fresh longer by adding a special solution to the water?
Freund says they attended a Christmas Tree Growers Convention where there were many knowledgeable growers, and this topic was addressed.
“They apparently had done a test of all the different old wives' tales of how to keep your tree, with (adding) pop and put aspirin in (the water). And there's also, on the market you can buy powders to put into water that's supposed to help your tree stay fresh. And their tests showed that really, just plain water was as good as anything else.”
Freund says that giving the tree a constant supply of water allows the tree to make its own sugar. But you have to make sure that there is always enough water in the tree stand or the tree will seal off the bottom, preventing it from absorbing more water.
Things to keep in mind when heading out to choose a tree: the space you have for a tree and whether you prefer a tree with short or long needles.
“There's a few types of short needles,” Freund says. “The Fraser fir and balsam fir are short needles, and they have good needle retention. They keep their needles long. The white spruce is also a short needle tree and that one does not keep its needles as long. And then the long needle ones are the pine, which are fairly good for needle retention. Although the pine, they're a little prickly for people decorating and maybe don't hold the heavy ornaments quite as well as, let's say, the Fraser does.”
Freund says it is important that the tree has a fresh cut before putting it into the water. This will allow it to take in adequate water to rehydrate, keeping it fresh for a longer period of time.
“If you cut it and put it up right away, it's fine. But if it's any length of time before it gets put up, a fresh cut should be done so that it can draw water, again. And then the important thing is to put it in a tree stand quickly after the cut. The tree stand should be (able to have an) adequate amount of water for that tree.”
After you get the tree into the stand, Freund says you can expect it to take a day for it to start absorbing water.
“And then after that, for the next couple of days, usually it'll really draw water for a few days and then it sort of slows down a little bit. So, it's important not to let it dry out.”
When considering the placement of your tree, Freund stresses the importance of keeping it away from a heat source. You might want to consider using something to deflect the heat, like from a floor register, away from the tree.
Heat will dry out the tree fairly quickly, he explains.
-With files from Carly Koop -