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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 9:35 am 
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Back when the tradition of cut trees started, they were set up on Christmas eve, with real candles, lit for the children on Christmas day, extinguished by dinner, relit one time Christmas night, and undecorated and disposed of the next day. With modern-day stands that hold water and modern-day light strands that produce far less heat even than C-6 or C-7 strands, families are tempted to leave them up for two weeks or more. Here's an article that addresses the pluses, minuses, and best practices of using cut trees:

http://www.familychristmasonline.com/tr ... _trees.htm

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 03, 2015 3:49 am 
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Paul, do you know if there's any truth to the claim that putting green food coloring in the water for the tree helps it retain color? I've never known a cut tree to lose its color even after almost a month on display, but I do remember someone telling my mother that adding green food coloring would help keep the tree a vibrant green. We did it one year when I was a kid, but didn't notice a difference.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 05, 2015 12:08 am 
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That's a new one on me. There are additives that are supposed to help it stay moist, but we've never used them. Of course we went to artificial trees when the last kid went off to college, so the only time we had to decorate the tree together before Christmas was Thanksgiving weekend, and there was no way a cut tree was going to last that long. :-)


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2015 5:55 am 
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Same here. I especially like the artificial ones that are pre-lit. The ONLY part of Christmas I don't utterly enjoy (in fact I hate it!) is hanging the lights on the tree. That part makes me into the Grinch for a few hours. LOL!

I'm wondering about those moistening agents now. I've been getting these cool swath/wreathes each year now, they look so awesome (see attached pics) when I haven't found traditional rounds ones that look so good. I love the variety of foliage (if that's the proper term) on these.

If I take them down every few days and soak them in water, would that tend to preserve them long enough to make it from Thanksgiving to Christmas? Usually I spritz them heavily with water several times a day, but even that doesn't seem to help.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2015 6:00 am 
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This was the best one I ever saw, from 2010...


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2015 12:00 pm 
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Vintage Bob,

Once these greens are cut, there's nothing to keep them from drying out very fast - a cut Christmas tree has a reservoir to draw from, but these don't.

When we hang swatches like these outside (in Ohio), they last until from Thanksgiving until New Years. When we hang them inside, we're lucky to get them to last two weeks before they start to look bad.

We have holly growing out of doors, I usually trim a few branches to use inside at Christmas. By 10 days it's brittle. It never looks bad, but by 15 days, it's so brittle that it will break if you bump it. In the meantime, if we leave a few cut holly branches outside in a display, they look fine well into January. It's just the indoor heat.

I wonder if there's something florists use that would keep the greenery from drying out so fast, like a spray. Something that would put a VERY fine coating of wax would help (that's what they used to do on cut trees), but I don't know anything you can buy for that.

Best of luck,

Paul


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2015 6:31 pm 
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Someone told me to spray them with the old fashioned hair spray like White Rain or Aqua-net but I've never tried it


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 5:13 am 
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Thanks Paul and Maria!

I've heard of using hair spray, I think I read it at another website once, but I HATE the smell of it. Usually I just spritz them heavily with water several (3+) times a day (as I leave for work, when I come home, before bed, etc). That seems to keep them intact, although still pretty much on the dry side, until New Year's even indoors. By Christmas it's dry, but not enough to loose needles unless you bump it pretty hard. By New Years it's to the point where touching it loses a handful of needles.

I tried something different this year. I've been mixing pure balsam fir oil with the water and using that to spritz them. Usually by now they're pretty dry, but this year they're still supple. Not as soft as a fresh one, but much more moist than usual. I can rub them with my hands and nothing comes off. I had them up on the wall starting on Nov. 28th. I'm wondering if the oil seals in moisture. It sure does help the scent. It seems to not only add to the aroma, it seems to bring out the original smell of the swath. And I've been a bit neglectful and haven't been spritzing them religiously 3 times a day. Some days I forget and only do it once. So maybe this method works.

I'm wondering though about the idea of cutting off the "root" side (the top when looking at it as posted) where it was cut from the branches - just cutting off a few centimeters - then soaking it in water immediately afterwards. Maybe once a week. I'm wondering if the cut branch end and needles will absorb the water and with the help of the oil/water spritz stay closer to fresh by Christmas. I'll probably try that next year and report my findings. Does it sound to the two of you like that might work?


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 5:37 pm 
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Bob, the cells on a cut die as soon as they dry out, which is why if you let a cut tree dry out in the stand, nothing you do for it short of taking it down and cutting off another inch and putting in back up will get it absorbing water again. Your spritz of balsam fir oil sounds promising. Let us know how well it holds up.

Paul


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