I still remember family trips to cut down the Christmas tree when I was a kid, and cutting our own fresh pine remains a cherished tradition now that I have a daughter of my own. One thing I've never known, though, is whether there is truly a way to make a Christmas tree last longer.
Luckily, we learned a new trick for how to make a Christmas tree last longer when we visited Karabin Farms, a Christmas tree farm in Southington, Connecticut.
Christmas tree grower Michael Karabin shared the following tip as we boarded the tractor-pulled wagon for our ride back from the field after cutting down our Christmas tree:
To Make a Christmas Tree Last Longer...
When you get your Christmas tree home, first, boil a gallon of water. Then, dissolve one cup of sugar in the water and allow the mixture to cool. Make a fresh, half-inch cut at the base of the Christmas tree trunk. Position the Christmas tree in a sturdy stand, then pour in the warm sugar water. Continue to add fresh, cool plain water to the tree stand, always ensuring your Christmas tree has an ample supply of water.
We decided to give this tree preservation trick a try, and one thing I noticed in the first week after we brought our Christmas tree home was that it seemed to have retained its woodsy pine scent longer than trees we'd cut in the past. Needle retention was impressive, too.
This photo shows our tree on December 4: right after its sugar water snack. Did this tip from a New England farmer really make our Christmas tree last longer? Here's a photo that shows how healthy and green our tree still appeared in January: a full month after we cut it down! Taken on January 3, it shows that our Christmas tree was still green and lush and had lost very few needles, particularly considering it was such a large tree.