A Christmas tree farm
choose and cut Christmas trees
A Christmas tree farm...

Worthington Tree Farm, choose and cut Christmas trees

Hampton, Georgia

Care of Your Christmas Tree

General Care:

For a fresh fragrant tree, treat your tree as carefully as you would a bouguet of fine cut flowers. Before mounting the tree in the tree stand, rinse the stand's water container with one capful of bleach in one cupful of water. This treatment will reduce the growth of mold that can block the tree's ability to absorb water. Cut one-half inch from the base of the tree and place in the stand with water as soon as possible. Add water daily and do not let the water level drop to the level of the cut end of the trunk.

Why does a cut tree stop drinking water?

Water uptake in any living plant is by a physical process called capillary action. When a tree is cut the pores are filled with liquid but if the tree is allowed to dry on a lot--or in a house--air pockets form and water uptake stops. There is a point of no return in which case nothing can be done to induce the tree to again take up water. All trees eventually stop taking up water and dry out, some species of trees much sooner than others.
While a tree is taking up water it is also producing and transporting nutrients to the root system, or in the case of a cut tree, into the tree stand. These nutrients will support the growth of bacteria and other microorganisms on the base of the tree trunk and this growth will eventually plug the pores and water uptake will be hindered.
We have found that the microbial growth can be prevented by the addition of chlorine bleach to the water in the tree stand. The question is how much is enough and how much is too much? We have tried several concentrations and times of addition of bleach and suggest the addition of no more than two teaspoons per gallon of water initially, followed by no more than one eighth of a teaspoon per gallon of water thereafter. (Note: Adding too much bleach may cause early browning and dropping of needles.) We have tried bleach with white pine, fraser fir and other varieties without any negative side effects. The only bleach that we have tried is Regular Clorox, active ingredient, sodium hypochlorite. IF YOU ADD BLEACH, DO NOT ADD ANY OTHER MATERIALS TO THE WATER.