Farmer’s tips for keeping a Christmas tree alive longer

Home for the Holidays

If people are getting their Christmas trees earlier, they'll need to keep them alive for longer

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — With concerns over Christmas tree shortages this year after the heat wave, many people started shopping for their evergreen early. 

But with the tree in the stand before the Thanksgiving leftovers are gone, there’s a risk the tree might not make it until Christmas. 

KOIN 6 News asked a local tree farmer for his best advice to keep a cut tree alive. 

Justin Timm owns Frog Pond Farm in Wilsonville. He said trees are extra thirsty in 2021 because of the drought. 

He said everyone who purchases a tree should give it a fresh cut on the bottom and that the tree should be placed in water within 45 minutes of the trunk being cut. Any longer than that, and the sap will close the bottom of the tree and it won’t take in water anymore, unless it’s cut again. 

As for additives, Timm’s not sure if they actually work. 

“I don’t want to say it’s completely hocus pocus. Water is the trick. So, you can add 7-Up, you can add some of those sugary types of items. They say it helps them absorb into the tree more. I can’t say for certain it does or it doesn’t, but as long as it continuously has water, you should be in good shape,” he said. 

Timm said if a tree is near a heat vent, close the vent. 

For people still tree shopping, Timm suggests getting a heavier tree. The weight can be a sign the tree absorbed more water. 

“If a tree is extremely light, that’s probably not going to be as healthy and strive as long as a heavier tree because that heavier tree is going to have more water in it,” he said. 

Timm said there will be 3,000 trees available at Frog Pond Farm, which is a pre-cut tree farm. Most of the trees are between 5 and 9 feet tall. Timm said the taller trees had more heat exposure and damage in 2021, so there aren’t as many of them available at all the farms. 

He also said a few U-cut tree farms are only open for 2-3 days this season for tree sales because of the high demand and little inventory due to the drought. 

Since Frog Pond Farm is a pre-cut farm, they have more flexibility and are hoping to stay open all season.

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