Christmas Tree Tricks: How to Extend the Life of Your Tree

By Lindsey Elliott (KSU)

Published 12/06 2013 11:39AM

Updated 12/06 2013 10:57PM

(MANHATTAN, Ks.) You don't have to be a scrooge this year and avoid getting a live Christmas tree.

Kansas State University forestry expert Charles Barden says the key is picking a tree that wont go up in flames.

"A tree that has good moisture content is not very flammable. They really are not a fire hazard," said Barden.

Whether you buy locally, from a major retailer, or cut it down yourself, the most important thing to look for in your perfect Christmas tree is moisture.

Barden says a heavy tree is a good sign the s got a lot of water in it.

Another way to check before buying is to drop the tree onto the ground.  If yellow needles fall out that's okay, but if green needles fall out that's a bad sign.

Also check the needles.  If they bend, that's good, but if they break the tree is too dry.

Once you pick the right tree, be sure to keep taking special care of it once you get it home.

"I actually keep it in the garage or a cool place overnight with lots of water for it to draw from and that first 24 hours, it may absorb a gallon of water," said Barden.

Keep watering your tree during the holiday season. Barden says it may drink up to a quart of water a day.

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