How to keep your Christmas tree alive a little longer, according to a farmer

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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, many people started shopping for their evergreens early. But with the tree in the stand before the Thanksgiving leftovers are gone, there’s a risk it might last until Christmas. 

Luckily, a farmer in Oregon is willing to share his tips for keeping trees in tip-top condition.

Justin Timm of Frog Pond Farm in Wilsonville said trees are extra thirsty in 2021 because of the drought. So if you want to keep a pre-cut tree alive, make sure you’re keeping it hydrated.

Timm 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 new cut. Any longer than that, and the sap will close the bottom of the tree, preventing it from taking on any more water 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,” said Timm. “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. 

And if a tree is near a heat vent, close that vent, Timm says.

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’s farm has about 3,000 trees available, of both douglas fir and noble fir varieties. Most of the trees are between 5 and 9 feet tall, he said, because the taller trees had more heat exposure and damage in 2021, so there aren’t as many available at all the farms. 

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