Here’s how to take care of your Christmas tree in the Valley this holiday season

Dec 19, 2023, 4:05 AM

man holds Christmas tree as he walks...

A Valley gardening expert discussed how to get the most out of your festive tree this season. (Getty Images File Photo)

(Getty Images File Photo)

PHOENIX — With Christmas around the corner, one Valley gardening expert discussed how to get the most out of your festive tree this season.

The bulk of proper tree maintenance surrounds just how well it’s kept hydrated, Brian Whitfill of Whitfill Nursery told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

The average 7- or 8-foot Christmas tree takes up about a gallon of water in its first 4-5 hours, he said. A person could find themselves watering it multiple times a day.

If the tree wasn’t hydrated right after it was cut, it will take up far more water.

“As long as it continues to take water, the tree will live and thrive and give off great fragrance and maybe be a wonderful addition to your home,” Whitfill said.

According to the National Christmas Tree Association, the stand should actively be monitored to make sure the amount of water doesn’t go below the base.

What happens when someone forgot to water the Christmas tree?

Lights and ornaments to the side, neglecting to water a live Christmas tree is the biggest risk someone could take, Whitfill said, but there are ways to invigorate it.

“If you notice [after] the first day or two, you can drill little holes down into the side of the trunk … and it will take up water and rehydrate again,” he said.

Are there other risks that come along with owning a live Christmas tree?

Because holiday lights don’t give off heat as most are made up of LED, Whitfill said that won’t be a cause for concern in many households.

“It’s a wonderful break for you and for your tree, and you make sure when you bring your tree home [that] you don’t put it in an area where it’s hot, by a draft, by a heater,” Whitfill said.

For those with pets that like playing with ornaments, they might want to consider a tabletop tree, he said.

“The one good thing to know is that trees are edible, so you’re never going to be toxic to your pet,” Whitfill said.

Here are other Christmas tree tips to keep in mind

Once the tree is ready to be tossed, Valley residents should look into their city recycling program for drop-off or curbside information.

Through city recycling programs, live trees are turned into compost, which can be used for gardens and parks, Whitfill said.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Shira Tanzer contributed to this story. 

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Here’s how to take care of your Christmas tree in the Valley this holiday season