RALEIGH — Because Thanksgiving falls late this year, many Christmas tree growers are opening up early for the season. The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services encourages consumers to use proper techniques to care for their fresh trees.
“Real Christmas trees offer a great addition to your holiday decorations, but they do need a little extra attention,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “With proper care, a real tree can last up to two months, providing your home with a wonderful aroma and truly festive feel.”
The department offers the following tips for consumers to care for their real Christmas tree this holiday season:
• If you can’t set up your tree immediately, put it in a bucket of water in a cool, shady place.
• Cut off a half inch from the base of the tree before placing it in a stand.
• Use a stand that will hold at least a gallon of water.
• Check the water levels often. A tree may take up to a gallon of water in the first 24 hours, and a quart per day after that.
• Place tree away from heat sources, such as heating vents, fireplaces, wood stoves, radiators and sunny windows.
• Check lights and cords for broken bulbs and frayed wiring.
• Do not overload electrical circuits.
• Turn off lights before leaving home or going to bed.
• Remove tree from home promptly after Christmas and recycle it.
North Carolina is the second-largest producer of Christmas trees in the nation, producing about a fifth of U.S.-grown trees. Consumers can purchase trees directly from choose-and-cut farms, at retail stores, as well as farmers markets and tree lots across the state.
To find real Christmas trees, choose-and-cut farms, poinsettias, wreaths and more holiday products, go to www.NCFarmFresh.com.