Christmas Trees Wanted Dead or…. ALIVE?!

Many of you have made that annual trek into the woods, the tree farm or your favorite retail store to select that perfect tree for the holidays. Now how do you avoid a Griswold Christmas disaster where the crispy, dry tree ignites it into a fireball? Here are some tips to keep your tree green and beautiful through the holiday:

Stand and Water—After hefting the tree off the roof of the car, make a fresh cut trimming an inch or so off the base and immediately place in a bucket of water or your perfectly sized tree stand. Make sure the stand is big enough to handle the trunk without whittling the base—the outer layers are important for water absorption.

Thirsty Trees—Fresh cut trees can drink up to a gallon of water per day. Levels should be checked frequently to keep water above the base of the trunk. It only takes about 30 seconds to add a little water each day to keep your thirsty tree happy.

Keep it Cool—Place your tree away from fireplaces, heat vents and sunlight and keep room temperature cool. The lights you place on the tree are another source of heat so consider using miniature lights which put out less heat.

Electrical Overload—Overloaded power outlets and faulty wires are the most common cause of fires during the holidays. Take a little extra care to check your lights and wires before lighting up your tree…no pun intended!

Pinch Test—Wonder if your tree is still fresh? Just pinch a few needles bend a branch and if it snaps easily or drops lots of needles it may be time to remove it from your house.

The ‘Gift’ That Keeps on Giving—Once your tree is removed from your house consider the many ways it can keep on giving: mulch for park trails, compost, improve fishing habitat in a lake or pond or as backyard habitat for birds by decorating it with peanut butter and bird seed pine cones.

“We know many Oklahomans are going green this year as they visit family-owned Christmas tree farms,” said George Geissler, Oklahoma State Forester. “These tips will help us care for those beautiful trees by taking a few steps to keep them fresh and safe.”

For more information on where you can purchase an Oklahoma-grown Christmas tree or how to properly care for your tree once you get it home, go the Oklahoma Forestry Services website ( or contact the Oklahoma Christmas Tree Association at 405- 826-5919.