Christmas Tree Preservative?
December 8, 2007 12:31 PM   Subscribe

How can I make homemade Christmas Tree preservative?

I've seen recipes that use 1 gal. water, 2 C. corn syrup, several tsp. bleach (anywhere from 4 tsp to 4 Tbs.) and 4 tsp. lemon juice or vinegar. Has anyone tried this? Think it works? Can I just put miracle grow in water and add that?
posted by izatchu to Home & Garden (8 answers total)
I remember using 7-Up when I was a kid.
posted by rhizome at 1:13 PM on December 8, 2007

Yeah, we used coca-cola and whiskey.
though the whiskey might have just been for dad. can't remember.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 1:15 PM on December 8, 2007

Aspirin and vitamin B-1 are the things I know about. You don't care if the tree keeps growing, you are just trying to prevent leaf drop.
posted by ikkyu2 at 1:39 PM on December 8, 2007

Mythbusters tried "everything", including bleach and Viagra. It seems hairspray works better, but they cautioned not to try it because it’s a fire hazard to add hair spray to a dry Christmas tree. Lemon-lime soda, fertilizer or aspirin was not better than plain water.
posted by iviken at 2:18 PM on December 8, 2007

How To Keep a Cut Christmas Tree Fresh.
posted by iviken at 2:30 PM on December 8, 2007

We've always had huge Christmas Trees (think 12'-14'+) and we've only ever used water. The tree stays alive from mid-December to mid-January, even in 35-40C Sydney weather.
posted by cholly at 2:32 PM on December 8, 2007

I just saw Ask This Old House discussing this very thing, and their conclusion was to just use water. The tree is dormant, so there's no need to give it "nutrition".
posted by O9scar at 5:01 PM on December 8, 2007

I worked at a Christmas tree farm in high school. If you want a non-dry tree, the best bet is to go cut-your-own. It will be young, stay fresh, and not drop needles.

A lot of the trees bought on Christmas tree lots are cut up to three weeks before Thanksgiving and trucked from rural areas to more populated ones. It's an intensely drying process. If you're buying a cut tree the first week in December, your tree could have been cut a month. Nothing much you do for it will keep it fresh - it's too late.

If you're lucky and find a tree that was cut only a week or so ago, it may still be 'drinking' and transpiring. You can tell by the fact that it's taking up water. You can tell it's taking up water by comparing the amount you pour into the reservoir with an equal amount left out in a bowl in the same room - water will evaporate no matter what, so this is the only way to tell the difference between what your tree is drinking in vs. what the air is taking for humidity. If your tree is still drinking, you're golden, and you don't really need to add anything.

If not, no big deal.
posted by Miko at 9:34 PM on December 8, 2007

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