Using Borax for Cut Christmas Tree Care

eHow may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.
You can use Borax for cut Christmas tree care.
Image Credit: oksana_nazarchuk/iStock/GettyImages

While an artificial tree stays forever green, a cut Christmas tree can dry out and not only look bad in your living room but also pose a fire hazard. Properly caring for your tree through the season can help maintain the tree's freshness and scent. Using a Christmas tree solution with borax can help water flow throughout the entire tree.

Advertisement

Video of the Day

Christmas Tree Preservative Solution Recipe

You can make a simple Christmas tree water recipe with ingredients found in your grocery and garden store, including borax. Borax, or sodium borate, is readily available in the cleaning or laundry sections of many stores. The boron in borax is what helps the water move throughout the tree.

Advertisement

Start with a large bucket with 2 gallons of hot water. Then, add 1/2 teaspoon of borax, 2 cups of corn syrup, 2 ounces of bleach, 2 pinches of Epsom salt and 1 teaspoon of chelated iron, which you can purchase in most garden stores.

The sugar in the corn syrup helps the tree absorb more water, and the bleach stops mold growth that is common when sugar water stands for a long period of time. The Epsom salt and iron in this homemade Christmas tree preservative provide magnesium to help maintain green needles.

Advertisement

Setting Up Your Christmas Tree

Before using your homemade Christmas tree water, you need to prepare your tree. If the tree is freshly cut within the last 12 hours, you can put the tree straight in a bucket with the Christmas tree mixture to keep it fresh. Otherwise, you need to cut up to 1 inch from the trunk so that it is better able to absorb the water.

Advertisement

Then, move it indoors to the tree stand when you are ready. Make sure the tree stand is a good size for your tree. A good rule of thumb is that the water basin can hold at least 1 gallon of water. Aim for 1 quart of water for every inch diameter of the tree trunk. In addition, the stand should be large enough to hold the trunk of the tree without having to cut the trunk to force it to fit.

Advertisement

When you move the tree indoors, fill the water basin with the borax DIY tree preservative. Check the water basin twice a day and top off the mixture to make sure the basin never dries out. If you want to automate this, consider purchasing a Christmas tree waterer. Check the instructions to make sure it is safe to add water with additives into the system.

Advertisement

Protect Against Fire

The borax recipe for keeping your Christmas tree fresh also helps protect against fire. When considering how to fireproof a Christmas tree, one of the most important factors is ensuring that the needles of the tree don't dry out.

Advertisement

Make sure to position the tree away from the fireplace, where sparks may ignite dry needles. The heat from the fireplace also contributes to drawing moisture out of the tree. Keep the tree out of direct sunlight and away from heating vents and space heaters, which also have a drying effect.

Advertisement

In addition, be sure to use LED light strings. These lights are safer, as they do not heat up as much as other bulbs. They may be more expensive to purchase initially, but they are more energy-efficient compared to other bulbs.

Advertisement

references & resources