Master Gardener: Tips for selecting a live Christmas tree | Home & Garden

If you decided to select a pre-cut tree, pick one of the freshest you can find. Fresh needles bend easily. When the trees have dried out, their needles will snap.

Once you have your tree home, it’s a good idea to saw off about one inch from the bottom of the tree. After doing this, place the tree in a container of water. If it will be a few days before you bring it in to decorate, store it in a cool place such as your garage.

When you do bring it inside, be sure you place the tree in a stand that will hold some water. Keeping your tree dry should help minimize any fire hazard with the tree.

Another way to minimize the risk of fire is to locate the tree away from heat sources such as a heater vent or especially the fireplace. And make sure your stand is of an appropriate size to keep the tree anchored in place because no one wants their tree to fall over.

Also, to help ensure a safe Christmas, only leave the tree lights on when a responsible person is home, and never leave the lights on if you are going to be away from the house. After Christmas, be sure to remove the tree before it gets overly dry. Good luck!

Robert Knight explains pecan harvesting at Knight Creek pecan farms.