Tree carePhoto by Evelyn on Unsplash

There are few more magical times in St. Louis, MO than the holiday season. It’s all about family, making memories, and having a special celebration. It’s also a chance for people to express themselves by decorating their homes for the holidays.

At the centerpiece of many holiday celebrations is the iconic Christmas tree. We’ve assembled some of our best tips to help you trim your tree to make it both beautiful and safe in your home during the festive season.

Growing Your Own?

If you are lucky enough to have space and the time, you can most certainly grow a tree worthy of being your Christmas centerpiece. To maintain your tree as it grows, prune back growing tips in the late summer or early fall. Also, remove any branches that extend past the tip of the tree and remove any other wayward branches regularly so that you can keep the tree in your desired shape.

Décor Tips

When bringing your tree inside, prune it back, so it is appropriately sized for the space and is symmetrical. Examine your tree from a distance to accurately assess which branches need trimming. Put the tree in a low traffic area and anchor it to the wall, if possible, with nylon string to avoid it falling over with the weight of decorations.

To decorate, start with strings of lights as the first layer. Start at the bottom of the tree and wind your way up. Choose your ornaments. Perhaps you are using your traditional family ornaments, or you can select a theme if you’d like. For the best optical effects, hang the larger or more prominent ornaments first, and then scatter smaller ones around.

If your tree faces a window, don’t forget the backside, because the tree will be visible from the outside too. Keep breakable ornaments off the bottom few branches if you have pets or small children, who might knock them off.

Reduce Risk of Fire

Unfortunately, house fires with a Christmas tree at the source are common. You can reduce the risk by taking a few simple steps.

Select a tree that is as fresh as possible. The older a tree gets, the drier it gets, making it more susceptible to fire. How do you know if a tree is fresh? The needles bend but don’t break, and there is sap in the trunk. While the tree is in your home, make very sure that it is in a stand that is always filled with water.

When the festivities are over, and the tree begins to dry out (i.e., the needles start to turn brown and fall off) get rid of the tree as soon as you can.

Don’t overload sockets with too many plugs for lights; only have low-heat lights on the tree that are up to safety standards. If you see any frayed cords or other damage, replace the lights right away.

Don’t position the tree too close to a heat source, like the fireplace or a heater. Never leave the lights on when you go to bed or when you leave your home.

Make sure that you’ve got a working fire extinguisher (check the expiry date) located close by for the duration of the season.