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Here we have some useful info to help you Choose and Care for your Christmas Tree...and on how to recycle it after the holiday season


Before you buy...

  • SELECT a spot in the house with easy access to an electrical outlet and not in a major traffic area.
  • MEASURE for height and width.
  • FIND or buy your tree stand...make sure it can hold at least one gallon of water.
  • CHOOSING a real Christmas tree is a fun outing for the whole family and easy to do. Here are some suggestions for selecting a fresh cut tree tree. First, do a freshness test. Gently grasp a branch between your thumb and forefinger and pull it toward you. Few needles should come off in your hand if the tree is fresh. Second, take a look at the ground around the tree - You should not see excessive amounts of green needles. Some interior loss of needles is normal and will occur over the life of the tree.

Common Questions...

After you bring your tree home...

Q. How do I store the tree if I'm not ready to put it up?

Keep your tree in a sheltered, unheated area such as a porch or garage to protect it from the wind and sun until you're ready to decorate it. Make a fresh, straight cut across the base of the trunk (it does not matter how much you cut off, just make a fresh cut) and place the tree in a tree stand or bucket that holds at least one gallon of water. You do not need to "unwrap' your tree until it is moved inside.

Q. How much water will my tree drink?

Water is the key to maintaining a spectacular tree throughout the holidays. Real trees need water daily. Never let your tree stand go dry! A seal of dried sap will form over the cut stump if the water drops below the base of the tree preventing the tree from absorbing water. If a seal does form, another fresh cut will need to be made. It doesn't matter how much you cut off, just make a fresh cut. A tree will absorb over a gallon of water in the first 24 hours and one or more quarts a day thereafter. Water is important because it prevents the needles from drying and the boughs from drooping.

Q. What do I do when I'm ready to bring the tree inside?

If the tree is frozen or has ice on the branches or is wet in any way, thaw it out slowly and allow it to drip dry. You can then bring it in the house still "gift wrapped", this will protect the tree from damage caused by brushing up against walls and door jams.

Q. Does it matter where I put the tree once it is in my house?

Keep your tree away from heat and draft sources like fireplaces, furnace vents, radiators and television sets.

Q. What else should I do when I put the tree up?

Test your light cords and connections before hanging them on the tree to make sure they're in good working order. You don't want to use cords with cracked insulation or broken or empty sockets. If you purchased a tree bag, you may place it under the tree stand at this time. Next, remove the "gift wrapping" around your tree.

Q. Can I leave the Christmas Tree lights turned on?

Christmas tree lights are warm when on. They can also be a fire hazard. So be sure to unplug lights before you go to bed or leave the house.

Q. How long will my tree last indoors?

Your tree should last 3 to 4 weeks inside your home with proper care.

Q. What happens if my tree accidently runs out of water?

It's best to make a fresh cut on the bottom of the tree to reopen the closed pores. The outside rings of the trees is where the majority of the water will be drawn. If it's not possible to re-cut the base of the tree, misting the tree's branches will help maintain a higher moisture content.

Q. What do I do when I take the tree down?

Carefully remove your ornaments and lights. If you bought a tree bag, remove the tree from the stand and enclose it in your tree bag to prevent needles from falling inside your house as you take the tree out.

After you are finished enjoying your tree, and it's time to take it down ???

King County residents can get christmas tree recycling advice from the King County Solid Waste Division. Call them on 206-296-4466 or 1-800-833-6388. Alternatively, you can visit their website for their latest tree recycling info at

Pierce County residents can get christmas tree recycling advice from the Pierce County Public Works and Utilities Solid Waste Division. Call them on 253-798-2179. Alternatively, you can visit their website for their latest tree recycling info at

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