If you’ve already got a tree or are planning on getting one soon, here’s how to keep your Christmas tree fresh for longer, from the team at Misa Christmas Tree Farms
Michael Fuyala from Misa Christmas Tree Farms has been in the real Christmas tree business for a long time. Situated in the central Auckland suburb of Balmoral, the festive farm has become an unexpected landmark, with a swathe of pine trees cutting through suburbia. Each December, families flock to the farm to pick out their annual tree.
Today, the farm is both a treasured family business and a booming icon of the festive season. The farm has expanded its services to Christmas tree delivery throughout Auckland, decoration and removal (after the 12th day of Christmas, of course), all of which can be easily ordered online. Below, Michael shares his top tips for keeping a real Christmas tree fresh for longer. For everything you need to know about Misa Christmas Tree Farms, read our article here.
How do we keep our Christmas tree fresh throughout December?
If cared for properly, your real Christmas tree will remain green and fresh for a month. Place your tree in a shady spot (ideally near a window to receive fresh air) and give it plenty of water, particularly on warmer days.
How long will my Christmas tree last if I don’t care for it properly?
Things can turn pear-shaped very quickly, within days. The most common mistake people make when buying a fresh Christmas tree is leaving it out of water for more than half an hour, or allowing the water in the stand/bucket to run completely dry.
Photographer: Mel Jenkins
Should I keep my real Christmas tree in a stand or a bucket?
Keep your tree in anything that supports the tree well and holds plenty of water – at least 4 litres, if available. Never put the tree in sand or soil. A tree stand with a wide footprint and adjustable levers is a good option for people with small children or pets. Some people opt for a bucket with bricks but it’s a hassle, so we have a lot of customers returning for a stand. This Christmas Tree stand from Misa Christmas Tree Farms is a great option.
Do I need to water my real Christmas tree? If so, how much?
Christmas trees need plenty of water. When the base of the tree is dry, sap leeches out and forms a resin-like seal. This means the base is no longer porous, so the tree can’t drink water. To fix this, saw a thin sliver off the base of the tree so the bottom is porous again and can drink water. Pine trees are usually the most thirsty in the first few days after being cut, so ensure the tree receives a couple of litres per day, so it doesn’t dry out prematurely.
Photographer: Helen Bankers
Should I keep my Christmas tree in a shady spot?
Yes, definitely. Keep the tree out of direct sunlight, as harsh sunlight can cause the tree to wilt ahead of its time.
Does my Christmas tree need fresh air?
Christmas trees don’t like air conditioning, and they also don’t like to swelter in a warm room that has no circulation. Both will cause the needles to go limp, so having some fresh air and ventilation is a good idea.
Photographer: Mel Jenkins
Do you have any top tips we might not know for keeping the tree looking fresh?
The important thing is that the base is cut fresh right before the tree goes into the water. Before putting your tree up, get out the handsaw and cut a sliver off the bottom before putting it in water.
Does decorating the Christmas tree affect the tree’s health?
No, but the decorations help fill up the gaps and imperfections that come with having a real Christmas tree.
Photographer: Jani Shepherd
When am I meant to put my Christmas tree up and take it down according to tradition?
Traditions say it’s bad luck to put your Christmas tree up before 1 December and to take it down on 5 January, the 12th day of Christmas.
Read this next: Where to buy a real Christmas tree in Auckland.