There's nothing better than the smell of a natural Christmas tree to fill a home during the holidays.
Keeping a tree looking beautiful until the end of the holiday season can be a little difficult.
Blaine Carter, the owner of Choose and Cut Christmas Tree Farm in Grovetown, said the key to keeping your tree green is hydration.
"Because they are essentially living things, they need water as soon after purchase as possible," Carter said. "Get them in water within six to eight hours after you buy it."
How much water your tree will need depends on several factors, including the temperature of the surrounding environment and the size of the tree.
"A tree can soak up to a gallon of water in the first 24 hours," Carter said, and explained that much of the weight of a tree is water.
"So it's important to check the tree often during the first few days to make sure there is water in the stand," Carter said.
Carter suggests checking the tree daily for the first week, which will give you an indication of how much water the tree is drinking.
Typical safety precautions will also keep your tree from drying out: keep away from heat and draft sources such as fireplaces, radiators and television sets.
"The Fraser fir trees we sell at our farm are shipped to us from North Carolina, where they are coming from a 50-degree environment," Carter said. "And then we are setting them up in 80-degree living rooms."
Hydration also helps keep the needles from turning brittle and falling before Christmas.
"The Leland cypress and Carolina sapphires that we grow on our farm don't shed needles as quickly as the Fraser fir, but it's still important to keep them watered frequently," he said.
Trees purchased around Thanksgiving should last until Christmas with the proper care.
After the holidays, you can dispose of your tree during the county's annual Christmas tree-recycling event.
Columbia County will hold Bring One for the Chipper from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 12 at The Home Depot on Bobby Jones Expressway.
The trees will be recycled into mulch, fuel or fish habitats.
Mulch and tree seedlings will be given away while supplies last to those bringing in their tree for recycling.
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