Christmas trees are one of the best parts of the holiday season, but setting one up can be quite a hassle. If you're one of the many people living in homes or apartments in Northern California, here's some helpful tips for setting up a Christmas tree.
Unless you want to spend the rest of December vacuuming pine needles off your floor, picking out a fresh tree is key. The fresher your tree, the longer it will take to dry out, thus saving you from a headache later. A good way to test for tree freshness is to lightly grab an outer branch and pull outwards. If a lot of pine needles come off, pick another tree.
While we're on the subject of picking your tree, be sure to measure the tree and make sure you're not buying one too large for the area it will be displayed. Not only will you end up overpaying, but you'll have to size the tree down from the bottom, which could ruin the appearance of the tree.
Buy the right support
Of course, there are quite a few things to buy besides the tree itself. One of the most important accessories to consider is the stand. You should use a reservoir-style stand which holds water for the tree to absorb while keeping it upright. A good rule of thumb is to use a quart of water for every inch of the tree's diameter, though for most reservoirs, a gallon is a safe bet.
Whether you opt for a clamp or a bolt-style stand, be sure to cut about a half-inch off the bottom of the tree immediately before placing it in the stand. When you first chop the tree down, a layer of sap will dry on the outside, keeping it from absorbing water. This extra cut (which should be flat, not V-shaped) allows for better water flow to the tree.
Don't forget fire safety
Christmas trees are beautiful, but they can also be a major fire hazard if handled improperly. This is why it's so important to have a fresh tree and to use a reservoir stand -- a dried-out tree is a fire waiting to happen.
Besides keeping the tree fresh, there's a few other important things to keep in mind to prevent a risk of fire. When lighting your tree, be careful not to use too many lights, as this also speeds up the tree drying. Be sure to check for any loose or frayed wiring as well. Don't set up your tree next to a heater or a fireplace either -- in fact, it's better to lower the room temperature wherever the tree is if possible.
Consider a plastic tree
Some will balk (or should we say bark?) at the idea of a plastic Christmas tree. While nothing beats the pine scent of a real tree, the sheer convenience of a plastic tree can't be overstated. It's a one-time purchase that requires no maintenance, has no risk of being a fire hazard, and won't shed any needles.
However, plastic trees aren't as green as you might think. While Christmas trees are farmed fairly sustainably on land that might not be able to support other crops, plastic trees are made from non-renewable materials. What's more, older models are suspected to have trace amounts of lead, so be sure to use a newer model if you decide to go the plastic route.
Setting up your Christmas tree can be stressful, but if you keep these considerations in mind, you should find yourself having a safe, headache-free holiday season in your home or apartments in Chico California.