From lot to living room, trunk to topper, here’s how to make your tree great.
AT THE TREE LOT
Once you’ve picked your tree, ask the seller to saw off at least ½ inch from the trunk. The fresh cut helps the tree take in more water and last longer.
Make sure he or she shakes off any loose needles before wrapping the tree in netting.
THE RIDE HOME
Before loading the tree onto your car’s roof, lay down a tarp or blanket to protect the car’s paint from scratches.
Trees are netted with the branches pointing up. Position the top of the tree over the rear of the car so branches don’t meet air resistance and break as you drive.
If you have a roof rack, strap your tree to it with strong rope or cords, starting at the base of the trunk and wrapping to the top. No roof rack? Open all the doors and tie the tree to the roof before shutting them for the drive. If the tree hangs off the back of your car, tie on a reflective flag to alert other drivers.
Direct heat can dry a tree out, making it both an eyesore and a fire hazard. Park yours away from radiators, heating vents, fireplaces, and holiday candles.
Place a tree bag—basically, an oversize garbage bag—beneath the stand (pick one up at the lot when you buy the tree). It’ll help catch fallen needles when it’s time to take the tree down, sparing you a big vacuum job.
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