It can be dangerous if a Christmas tree falls down, especially if it is large and heavily decorated. There are some proven ways to keep a Christmas tree upright, and it all starts with a good foundation and an eye toward safety. Installing and reinforcing real and artificial Christmas trees is an important aspect of your holiday decorating.
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How to Install a Real Christmas Tree
Before purchasing a real Christmas tree, get a tree stand that holds at least 1 gallon of water. It should also have screws on the side that hold the tree in place. Look for a solid, sturdy model that you can use in the coming years, as well. Place the tree stand on a material like felt pads to protect your floor or carpet. Be sure that you keep the tree 3 feet or more from heat sources like fireplaces, baseboard heaters and candles.
One of the most important parts of installing a Christmas tree is to ensure that the bottom of the trunk is freshly cut. Once trees are cut down, the ends start to close up in a few hours, which prevents the tree from absorbing the water in the tree stand. Experts recommend soaking the tree overnight in a large bucket of water before installing it, as this will keep it fresher for a longer time.
After soaking, remove any netting and dead branches, douse the tree with a hose and let it dry off. Trim the bottom, place the tree in the stand and tighten the screws and test it to make sure that the tree does not move at all. Once you are satisfied, fill the stand with water. Do not start decorating right away, however, because the branches need some time to unfurl. Give it 24 hours to rest, and then begin your tree trimming.
My Christmas Tree Keeps Leaning!
It is not easy to get a Christmas tree perfectly straight on the first try, and it is best when someone can help you get it situated. One of you can hold the tree, while the other screws in the bolts, but don't tighten them yet. When the tree becomes stable enough, the second person can stand away from the tree and tell the other how to proceed. If the Christmas tree is leaning towards one side, the bolt on the opposite side must be tightened. This can take a few tries, but the method should work.
Screws may loosen over time and need to be tightened during the holiday season. Christmas trees can also lean to one side because of their decorations, so you can try rearranging them and see if that helps.
Additional Tree Stabilization Techniques
An uneven floor can result in a leaning tree, as well. Try cutting a piece of wood and making a shim to place under the stand. For artificial trees, check the stand to make sure it is empty. You can also add some wood in it to balance things out.
To further stabilize a fake Christmas tree that's leaning, use a fishing line to secure the trunk of the tree to hooks installed on the closest wall. This is a good idea if you have pets or young children, notorious for knocking down trees. Also, keep the ornaments and other tree decorations out of their reach, and once you put the gifts under the tree, make it a no-pet zone.