Ready to deck the halls?
It’s that time of year again when Christmas celebrators break out the saws and hit the farms in search of the heartiest evergreens.
Whether you’re looking for something small, grandiose, or unique (when I was a kid we opted for a tree with an inactive hornet’s nest in it), you’re sure to find something that’s perfect for your home at one of these Christmas tree farms in Newport County:
Clarks Tree Farm, 4191 Main Road, Tiverton. Closed this year.
Maciel’s Christmas Tree Farm, 100 Maple Ave., Little Compton. 401-231-5370. Look for your perfect tree at this 40-acre farm.
Naugatuck Farm, 97 South Lake Road, Tiverton, 401-625-8733. Offers Balsam Fir, Fraser Fir, and Concolor Fir trees in all sizes. Choose from thousands of trees that can be cut, bailed and loaded.
Pachet Brook Tree Farm, 4484 Main Road, Tiverton. 401-624-4872. Opens Nov. 25. This 90-acre farm supplies the trees for the Rhode Island State House and Newport mansions. Pick one out for your home.
Sweet Berry Farm, 915 Mitchell’s Lane, Middletown. 401-847-3912. Cut your own tree or have it cut for you during selected times.
Once you’ve cut that tree down here are some tips to help it last throughout the season.
Whether you chopped selected your tree at a farm or went to a converted parking lot, securing your Christmas tree properly can mean the difference between having a decorated tree at home and leaving it behind on the road.
A survey from AAA found that 44% of Americans who buy a Christmas tree didn’t properly secure it on the way home.
Wrap it up and point the bottom of the tree forward to keep needles from being blown off, advises AAA. Make sure to tie it securely, too, AAA adds, by securing the tree at the top, bottom, and middle. Tie the tree down at fixed points on the car, and loop it around the trunk.
National Christmas Tree Association seasonal spokesman Doug Hundley said the sap from the tree can seal off the pores in the trunk once it’s cut. It makes it good for preserving the tree after it’s cut, but once you take it home, it makes it harder to keep moist. Sawing an inch off the bottom before putting your tree in water will ensure it stays hydrated, he said.
Make sure to cut perpendicular to the tree trunk for maximum water intake. Don’t cut at an angle or a V-shape, the National Christmas Tree Association advises.
A Christmas tree’s longevity is only as good as the tree stand it’s placed in, Hundley told USA TODAY.
“Get tree stands that are large enough to have a water reservoir, at least a gallon of water –— fill it up while that cut is still fresh and it’ll start flowing,” Hundley said.
Make sure the tree stand is filled with water at all times, and make sure the water level never goes below the base of the tree. The National Christmas Tree Association recommends 1 quart of water per inch of stem diameter.
Real trees can be a serious fire hazard, so keep it away from heaters, ducts, candles and anything else that could ignite your tree, the National Christmas Tree Association advises.
It’s also bad for the longevity of your tree, added Hundley. The tree will dry out if it’s next to a heating vent, no matter how fresh it is.
Use lights that produce low heat to keep your tree from igniting, and don’t overload electrical circuits. Always turn the tree lights off when leaving the house or going to bed.
And, crucially, recycle the tree after Christmas if it gets dry. Most cities and communities offer programs to convert the tree into mulch, or another way to dispose of the tree sustainably.
“A fresh tree is almost impossible to set on fire,” Hundley said. A tree that’s dry is a fire hazard, no matter how cautious you are with keeping it away from light and heat sources, can ignite more easily, he cautioned.
Material from USA Today was included in this report.