If you suffer from allergies during the Christmas season, perhaps your tree is the reason. Allergy levels rise when people bring in trees to decorate. It doesn't matter if the tree is real or artificial, mold can grow and fill the air, setting off your allergies. To better enjoy the season, remove Christmas tree mold before you bring your tree inside. Although you cannot remove all the mold, you can greatly reduce the mold and enjoy your Christmas tree.
Real Christmas Trees
Spray the Christmas tree with a fungicide. Most home and garden centers sell fungicides, or you can make your own by combining 1 gallon water, 3 tablespoons baking soda, 1 tablespoon bleach, and 1 teaspoon liquid dishwashing liquid. Spray the entire tree outdoors and allow it to dry for 24 hours. Carefully dry the branches off with a cloth to remove any remaining moisture from the bleach solution, then bring in your tree
Place an air cleaner in the same room as your live Christmas tree. Let the air cleaner run for three hours or longer. The air cleaner helps remove airborne mold spores.
Leave the living tree in your home for only four to seven days. If you keep your tree indoors any longer, mold spores begin to grow and fill the air.
Artificial Christmas Trees
Take your tree outdoors. Don't remove the mold indoors or your allergy symptoms may become worse.
Turn on an air compressor to build up pressure. If you don't have an air compressor, buy a can of compressed air.
Spray each branch of the artificial tree. This removes most of the mold spores.
Spray the Christmas tree with a fungicide. Leave your tree to air dry for 24 hours in a shed or garage. Place your tree in a dry location because mold grows in damp and dark conditions. Wipe down the branches of the Christmas tree with a rag so it is dry.
Take the tree indoors and decorate. To cut down on mold reforming, don't leave the tree up for more than two weeks.
- About My Planet: Christmas Tree Mold
- “Mold in Christmas Trees”; Sharon M. Douglas and DeWei Li; 2007
- Ecomall: Organic Gardening, Natural Fertilizers, Compost Bins, Reel Mowers, Electric Lawnmowers, Garden Furniture, Tools and More
- http://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/Resource000986_Rep2330.pdf “University of New Hampshire Fungicides for Christmas Tree Diseases”; Dr. Cheryl A. Smith; 2008