How to relax a Christmas tree
December 8, 2012 9:14 PM   Subscribe

How to relax a Christmas tree. It has been unwrapped now for two days and the limbs aren't relaxing much into a tree shape. It looks like it is preparing for re-entry rather than lights and decorations. What do we do?

Our Christmas tree came from far up north. It is a fraser fir and came tightly wrapped in red twine (just like our last 20 or so.)

We kept the cut base in a tub of water outside in our balmy weather for a week and have now brought it inside. It has been unwrapped for two days and the limbs aren't relaxing much into a tree shape. It looks like it is preparing for re-entry rather than lights and decorations.

Do you have any suggestions to help our tree relax?
posted by leafwoman to Home & Garden (10 answers total)
Did you see other trees from the same place in "relaxed" form? Some tree species just naturally stick upwards, and their branches don't go out horizontally, and won't open out even with heavy decorations.
(IIAXTG - I am an Xmas tree grower, but not YXTG). Happy Seasons.
posted by anadem at 9:23 PM on December 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

The weight of lights & ornaments will usually pull down the branches. I suppose you could put rice or sand in some hollow ornaments if they need more weight, but I suspect that won't be necessary.
posted by theora55 at 10:11 PM on December 8, 2012 [4 favorites]

Just stick your arms in and push down on the branches. Go around the tree doing that and it should open up. As anadem said some species have branches that natually angle up.
posted by PaulBGoode at 10:34 PM on December 8, 2012 [2 favorites]

2nding to just start decorating...the lights alone will probably be a big change...
posted by Tandem Affinity at 5:39 AM on December 9, 2012

Trees love ginger ale. Not kidding. It gives them a little pep. Try pouring a bit of ginger ale (like, half one of those big plastic bottles) in with its water. We do this every year.
posted by Miss T.Horn at 7:07 AM on December 9, 2012


I don't know what you guys are decorating your trees with, but the weight of the ornaments I use us negligible and wouldn't do much for a tense tree. I think gentle massage is the way to go; PaulBGoode is right.
posted by Specklet at 7:42 AM on December 9, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks for the responses!

We are going to go with massages and playing Yani for 24 hours around the clock.

We actually got three trees from this grower (not a retailer) from whom we have bought trees for 30 years. The other two smaller trees are fine. The ginger ale sounds good. The only problem with the lights is that unless we fold in extra the lights will hold the tree to its current smaller diameter.

Again, thanks for taking you holiday time to respond.
posted by leafwoman at 10:09 AM on December 9, 2012

It's "Yanni," damnit it. Two n's. Try turning up the temperature in the house (or wherever the trees is), as well as adding some warm water to whatever it's standing in. This may speed up yellowing of the needles, however.
posted by Nomyte at 10:53 AM on December 9, 2012

If you tell the tree that it's a very bad tree and it's mother was a balsam fir so it will never amount to anything the tree will become depressed and it's limbs will sag.

Warmth from lights and being inside will help. The smaller trees have skinnier branches so they relax more easily. It will be fine. Or you'll always remember the holiday when the tree just kept it's branches "up in arms".

Go ahead and install enough lights so they are not binding. I usually start installing the string of lights from the center, out one side of the limb then back the other side to the center; rinse repeat until I cannot stand it anymore. It takes more lights but it may be satisfying enough that you don't waste time installing those danged ornaments.

I've been the designated light stringer in the family for 30-some years because I "do the best job of it"- be careful that you avoid this designation. My Mom broke down and purchased a fake 9 foot old time artificial tree 15 years ago that I've grown to despise: it takes 12 hrs to assemble and put on lights and decorations. I have none at my house. Wonder why? But, all those lights do make a more festive tree and it helps small planes find the nearby airport runway.
posted by mightshould at 10:59 AM on December 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Yanni Yanni Yanni

Got it.
posted by leafwoman at 12:54 PM on December 9, 2012

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