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Caring for Your Tree

How do I care for my tree before I put it up in my home? Keep the tree out of the sun and wind.  A sheltered area like a garage is good, or shady side of the house blocked from the wind will work too. You can place te the trunk in water or surround the trunk base with wood chips, and keep the wood chips watered.

When do I need to make a fresh cut? Can you place your tree directly in a stand with water if it is less than 4 to 6 hours after the tree received a fresh cut at the farm. If it is longer than that, you will want to make a 1/2 inch fresh cut across the bottom of the trunk.

What do I need to do before I bring it inside? Keep the tree wrapped up with string until you bring it. Measure your ceiling height as well as the height of the tree to see if you need to make any final adjustments. If you are able to, give the tree a few solid up and down taps on the ground outside to dislodge any extra interior needles.

What can I do to keep my tree fresh? Keep it regularly watered. The tree will drink more in the first few days so water it daily when you first place it in the house. A tree will last longer if it is placed in a cool room out of direct sunlight. Never put the tree near sources of heat such a fireplaces and candles.

What can I add to the water to keep the tree fresh? All of the research by tree scientists have shown that plain, room temperature water is the best; nothing needs to be added. What is most important is that the tree is regularly watered.:

What if my tree has a cracked trunk? According to the scientists at the North Caroline Cooperative Extension: "Under certain climatic conditions, a small percentage of Fraser fir trees will develop cracks along their trunks. Most concerns about tree freshness related to trunk cracks can be put to rest. Given a fresh cut off the base of the trunk and placed in water, trees with cracks will take up water normally for the entire holiday season. Often, cracks will close up as trees take up water. Cracks are not directly related to foliage freshness or a tree's ability to take up water, or fire safety."

What if there are some brown needles on my tree?  All needled evergreens shed their oldest needles every year, so do not be concerned when brown needles fall from the interior of the tree when you knock the base of the tree on the ground. 

What if there any "hitchhikers" on my tree? Your tree comes from the great outdoors, part of a healthy ecosystem in which the farmer takes care of the trees and the surrounding land. There is a very low occurrence, less than 0.1% chance, that an insect or spider may be on your tree. Tapping the tree on the ground outside before bringing it in can help. Also placing the tree in a intermediate space such as a garage for a day or two can help too. If the insects or spiders do come into the house with the tree, vacuum them up with the hose attachment or a handheld vacuum.  Diatomaceous earth is an insecticidal powder that uses no synthetic chemicals and can be dusted onto the tree. We do not recommend the use of aerosol insecticides.

What do I do if I have concerns about a tree I got at the farm? With our growing practices, 99.9% of our trees make wonderful Christmas trees. However, since they are living things, there is some natural conditions that can cause a tree to have an issue. You can email us at farmer@jonesfamilyfarms.com describing the concerns you have about your tree and we will help you. Please include details about where and when you bought your tree, and when it was set up in your home. Please include photos of the tree, your name, phone number, and address. One of our tree farmers will be in touch with you. If you wish to bring back the tree and discuss it with us in person, please do so on a weekday. If you can, you can email us to let us know you are coming. If you bring back the tree, we can exchange it for a new tree if needed. In certain situations, we try our best to examine branches and photographs to make evaluations about the tree's condition.

What should I do with the tree after the holiday? Evergreen boughs make a great mulch for perennial flowering plants. The tree can also be placed on the ground near bird feeders to create a little shelter for ground-feeding birds. You will enjoy seeing more birds at your bird feeder! Also, many communities have a special pick up or designate a drop off site for Christmas trees to recycle the trees for compost or use for sand dune stabilization projects. Thanks for keep all parts of the your tree's life cycle sustainable!

Be good to the land and the land will be good to you.

Philip James JONES, FARM FOUNDER, 1821-1912