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You must care for your tree whether you are a retailer or consumer. Over the years, common myths and other misconceptions over the care and handling of cut Christmas trees have resulted in wasted trees, reduced tree quality, poor tree care and sometimes dissatisfied customers. Also, recent trends of setting trees up earlier during the holiday season increases the chances the trees will not meet consumer expectations of quality during the entire display period unless the trees have proper care.

The market is demanding more North Carolina grown Fraser Firs each year. Families are continuing to find that the Fraser Fir's resistance to shipping stress and temperature fluctuations, its excellent needle retention, its wonderful fresh-cut aroma and its deeper green color make it perhaps the nation's premier Christmas tree.

Do all species keep equally well after harvest?

Certain species simply last longer and remain fresh much longer than others. Some of the best are the North Carolina Fraser Fir, Balsam Fir, Scotch Pine and Douglas Fir. Regardless of species, consumers must make the final judgment of quality by looking at, touching, feeling, smelling and shaking the tree.

How much of the trunk should be cut off before setting up the tree?

Removing a thin disk (1/4 to 1/2 inch) off the trunk before placing the tree in a water holding stand. It is always a good practice to make a new cut before putting the tree into the stand.

What is the minimum amount of water a tree stand should hold?

As a general rule, a tree can use up to a quart of water per day for each inch of stem diameter. The warmer the temperature and the lower the relative humidity where the tree is displayed, the greater the amount of water required by the tree.

If the base of the trunk has a split, will this affect the quality of the tree?

It should not affect the ability of the tree to take up water, assuming a fresh cut is made on the base, nor have any effect on how long the tree lasts after it is displayed.

Information provided by: North Carolina Christmas Tree Association

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