Christmas Tree debate?
December 22, 2006 6:26 PM   Subscribe

Christmas Tree debate - Can this tree be used/saved?

Cut over a week ago, left propped up by the back porch (roof protection only--basically outside). I don't believe it is viable, or safe, to put up, much less decorate... family members disagree (NY state... its been 30-48 or so all week and dry. The tree hasn't been watered or unbaled. I'm afraid it will be a fire risk even if we cut the base and water it at this point, even if it looks healthy. I feel terrible about this tree, but we've all been sick and my 71 yr old mum got the tree before I arrived and I'd love any useful information anyone can share. Thanks much... msshe
posted by msshe to Home & Garden (6 answers total)
I think it will be ok. I remember us leaving our tree out for a while growing up (central MA). Also, I don't know if they water trees while they sit on the tree lots, but it seems they don't. (IANAXmasTreeExpert)
posted by nekton at 6:32 PM on December 22, 2006

Just monitor it... you'll know when it is getting dry and the needles start to fall off. Personally, I think a recently cut pine burns almost as fast as a dry one. No matter what condition it is in, be safe, keep it away from flames, be careful with the electrical stuff, small children, and matches.

have a merry holiday!
posted by HuronBob at 6:36 PM on December 22, 2006

I agree with nekton... They don't water them while they sit on the tree lots waiting to be sold... You mention that you haven't unbaled it yet, so it should be fine... Definitely cut the base and keep it liberally watered once you put it up. (IANAXmasTreeExpert either)
posted by amyms at 6:36 PM on December 22, 2006

Christmas trees routinely are cut and shipped in refrigerated containers, taking weeks to get to their destination (they're mostly cut in October!). All you've done is continue the refrigeration.

Just trim the bottom of the trunk, put it in water, and it'll be fine. It won't burn down. You are using the smaller bulbs/LED bulbs nowadays, right? Not the giant incandescents? Bulbs should be only slightly warm to the touch.
posted by jellicle at 6:54 PM on December 22, 2006

Great replies, thanks! I'll be watering and monitoring and it won't be near a fireplace (yes, jellicle, any/all bulbs will be the small UL listed and new).

40+ years of christmas trees in this house and the only thing that ever caught fire was me, as a kid. Painful, frightening experience. Needless to say I'm extremely diligent about fire safety.

Happy Holidays to all!
pax, msshe
posted by msshe at 8:35 PM on December 22, 2006

Put a little bit of aspirin in the water, prevents the xylems and phloems from seizing up, also prevents needle drop.
posted by ikkyu2 at 4:02 PM on December 23, 2006

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