| Aimee Phillips

Keeping Your Christmas Tree In Tip-Top Shape Throughout The Festive Season

Celebri-tree favourites Pines and Needles are Britain’s premier Christmas tree growers & retailers and have been running for 26 years. They supply beautiful trees to the stars, including the legendary Sir Elton John,  Madonna, One Direction and Noel Gallagher. But even A-list celebs need help when it comes to caring for their fantastic firs.
Founding brothers Sam and Josh Lyle set up Pines and Needles when they were 15 years old and are now selling 60,000 a year! Here are their top tips for keeping your Christmas tree looking its best throughout the festive season.

Prepare the trunk
Just before you install your tree, saw off the bottom 1” (3cm) of the trunk. This creates a fresh cut and opens up the pores in the bark, which otherwise can block up with sap within a few hours of being cut. The tree is then able to drink water through these pores via capillary action. We do this to all our trees so you don’t have to!

They need routine
Do not expose your tree to sudden changes in temperature. Trees like most people are creatures of habit and prefer steady conditions.

Keep it away from any heat sources
Position your Christmas tree away from any heat sources such as radiators and fireplaces. Heat dries out your tree faster, so the further from potentially damaging heat sources the better, and the fresher your tree will remain.

Josh and Sam Lyle

Water your tree
Place your tree in plain water – not soil or sand which would block the pores in the bark. This is best achieved by using a specially designed Christmas tree stand. Many precious hours can be wasted trying to make a Christmas Tree stand up straight in an ordinary bucket using just bricks or stones!

Then keep on watering it!
Keep the Christmas tree stand topped up with water. Your Christmas tree may drink 2-3 pints (1-2 litres) of water per day, depending on its size and your central heating settings. This is very important as once the water level drops below the tree’s trunk, sap will re-seal the bark within a few hours, preventing the tree from drinking any further water even if you then re-fill the Christmas tree stand.

Real vs Fake:
Of course the manufacturing process of artificial trees uses more energy and materials but if you use your artificial tree for more than 10 years it offsets the carbon footprint.
Real gives you the incredible smell, the bragging rights and the opportunity to choose a different tree each year. It’s something the whole family can get involved in – a great way to start the festivities.
Artificial fans will crow about how they only had to visit the loft to pick theirs up, and that it costs them nothing year after year. If you’re a fan of the no-needle-out-of-place look, our no-lean, no-drop, no-water range enables you to simply get on with the job of decorating it.
How to decorate:
It may sound obvious, but two people are better than one if that’s possible – even if it’s just for the lights. Lights go on first and it’s great if one person can feed them to the other as they wind it round and round, starting at the bottom. Embed the lights in the lush greenery and then move out as you go up.
The heavier the decorations the more you’ll need to keep them away from the tips of the branches. Everyone has a different way of decorating but themes look good, whether that’s a colour or a certain style such as Scandi (sparse; red and white) or Victorian (wooden decorations, dried fruit, pine cones).
Tinsel has been dying out for a while but ribbon is en vogue, but go horizontally rather than at an angle – it’s a much cleaner look.


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