My Cut Christmas Tree Is Budding New Growth

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Regular watering will keep your tree green longer.
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Natural Christmas trees are living things. Though they are cut down and brought indoors, they can sometimes continue to exhibit signs of growth. If a Christmas tree is budding in a house, it could be responding to the warmer indoor temperature. Though the tree is no longer attached to its roots, warmer temperatures may still engage the process of budding, as would occur naturally outdoors during the springtime.

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My Christmas Tree Is Budding!

Your Christmas tree was in its dormant phase outdoors in the cold. After you chose it and brought it home, you put it inside in a Christmas tree stand. With the heat on inside, your tree would become very warm, as might happen outdoors in warm weather.

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Christmas tree budding can vary depending on the outdoor temperatures in which the tree was growing. If the fall was cold and the winter early, trees can go dormant early. If enough time was spent in the cold, the tree won't bud before warm temperatures come back. The length of chill time is generally about six to 10 weeks, but the temperatures during that period need to stay consistently below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

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What to Do With Buds

If you do see buds forming on your tree, it's best to leave them alone. They won't be able to grow very large during the holiday season, so you needn't worry they'll ruin the appearance of your tree. Alternatively, you can trim buds carefully with a pair of pruning shears, or even use these small pieces in your other holiday decorations.

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Some people even succeed in replanting the buds. Take a fresh bud (or a few) and put it in a glass with some water. If it sprouts roots, you can try then planting it outside.

Christmas Tree Care After Cutting

To prolong the life of a freshly cut Christmas tree, choose an area in your home that is at least 3 feet from any heat sources and away from heating vents. When you get the tree home, put it in an unheated, sheltered place like your garage in a bucket of fresh water. Inside, put down something to protect the floor and use a tree stand that holds at least a gallon of water.

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Check the bottom of the tree, and if it is covered with dried sap, cut off 1 inch from the bottom. Then, immediately place it in the stand and secure it tightly with the bolts. Keep the container filled with water. If the level drops below the base of the tree, more sap will form, which can hinder water absorption. Check the water level several times daily. Thirsty Christmas trees can absorb several quarts a day, and it will probably drink even more during its first day or two inside.

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Keep checking for dead branches, and remove them as necessary with pruning shears. You will also want to vacuum up any dropped pine needles, as they can be a fire hazard (and prickly to step on). If the tree seems to be drying out even though it has water, there may not be enough humidity in the air. Try placing a humidifier in the room or changing the tree's location as a last resort.

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