Wednesday, September 19 , 2018, 6:06 am | Fair 58º

 
 
 
 
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Remember These Christmas Tree Tips to Keep Your Holiday Merry — and Worry Free

As good as your tree may look now, there are dried and true dangers lurking among the branches

The scent of evergreen and the twinkle of lights on a Christmas tree make a home feel like the holidays.
The scent of evergreen and the twinkle of lights on a Christmas tree make a home feel like the holidays. (Bill Macfadyen / Noozhawk file photo via Instagram)

It’s that time again, time for the Christmas tree shopping outing.

Many families head to Christmas tree lots still full of Thanksgiving turkey, eager to get the “pick of the litter” and embrace the holiday season by decorating the house and trimming the tree in late November or early December. Others wait until ... now. While still others cut it closer to Christmas.

There is nothing like the scent of evergreen and the sparkle of a Christmas tree to make a home feel like the holidays.

Just as important as picking the perfect looking tree, however, keeping the following in mind can make sure your investment in a tree lasts for the entirety of the holidays and is safe for your home, family and pets.

Here are some tips to help make your Christmas tree experience even better:

» Pick a fresh tree: Pine needles will always fall off a tree, but a fresh tree’s needles are resistant and do not fall off easily. When you run your hand down a branch, your hand should not be FULL of pine needles. If you have too many pine needles in your hand, it means the tree has been cut for a while and will probably dry out quickly.

» Cut a good two inches off of your tree’s trunk: Cutting the end of the trunk ensures that the tree can drink the water in the Christmas tree stand and stay fresh.

» Water in the tree stand: Always make sure your tree has a good reservoir of water in the stand to drink.

» Keep the tree a good distance from heat sources: Do not put the tree too close to a fireplace or heating source. If you put a tree near a heat source, the tree will dry out ahead of schedule and look awful by Christmas morning. Of course, fire is a bigger risk.

» Think about the tree’s exposure to light: In Southern California, our afternoon light can be strong when it comes in through a window.  Trees that get the full blast of our climate’s southern exposure will be crispy by Christmas, even with water in the tree stand. Think of your Christmas tree as a giant flower arrangement. If you were to leave an arrangement of freshly cut flowers by a window, what would happen?

» Not all Christmas lights are Christmas TREE lights: Really, no cheating here. If the box does not say that they lights can be used on a tree, do not use them on a tree. Lights not cleared for tree use may emit too much heat, which may dry the tree out and even cause a fire.

» Replace old, faulty lights: It is important to take stock of your lights every couple of years to make sure there are no loose bulbs or frayed cords that, again, could cause a fire.

» Turn off the lights: Whenever you leave the house or go to sleep, turn off the tree lights.

» Keep breakable bulbs and ornaments higher up on the tree if you have young children or pets: Shiny, broken ornament pieces are a temptation to young children and animals, and have been known to make it into mouths. Luckily, there are a lot of unbreakable ornaments for sale these days at reasonable prices.

» Last but not least, pay attention to young children and pets when they are in the Christmas tree’s vicinity: Cats, dogs and children are so drawn to Christmas trees that it is not unprecedented that they want to climb, play with ornaments, eat the ornaments ... Nothing replaces close vigilance for the whole family’s safety.

Noozhawk contributing writer Hilary Doubleday can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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