Month: November 2020

Spotted Lanternfly: Insect Invader

Sometimes when a non-native species is introduced to a new environment there is a devastating result. Whether the invasive species is a plant, animal, or pathogen, the presence of these invaders causes ecological or economic harm. Emerald Ash Borer, for example, has killed hundreds of millions of ash trees and now become well-established in North America. More recently, the invasive Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) has made its presence known, steadily increasing its range and causing feeding damage on a wide range of plants and trees since first being discovered in Pennsylvania in 2014.

adult spotted lanternfly

The adult spotted lanternfly is easily identified by the spots on its wings and its crimson hindwings.

Contrary to its name, this insect isn’t a fly, but a planthopper. They can hop powerfully over short distances, but are also able to fly relatively far and high. Since its debut in Pennsylvania, SLF is now being seen in Delaware as well as in New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Washington state has also reported a sighting.

A beautiful but deadly insect, it feeds on trees using its needle-like mouthparts, called a stylet. The mouthparts insert into plant tissue and suck up sap like a straw. As they feed, the insects excrete a sticky substance called honeydew that facilitates the growth of sooty mold (a fungal disease) and attracts other insects. SLF breeds in large numbers and often feeds in large groups so they are easily seen, frequently congregating at the base of a host tree.

spotted lanternfly egg mass

Spotted lanternfly egg masses should be scraped off of trees.

Interestingly, the preferred host of SLP is another invasive species, Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima). However, the insect is not particularly selective and many known species are attacked, including hickory, maple, pine, poplar, red oak, walnut, willow, Prunus spp. (plums, cherries, peaches, nectarines, apricots, almonds), and apples.

If you are in an area where this pest is prevalent, be on the lookout for egg masses, which are easily seen clinging on to bark. They can be scraped off and should be double-bagged and thrown away. Insecticides can be applied to control SLF effectively as well. If you find SLF in an area where it has not yet been reported, please report it immediately to aid in the control of this invasive pest.

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10 Leaf-Raking Tips No One Ever Taught You

There’s a reason we all love the striking colors of fall foliage. The mosaic of reds, gold, and yellows is one of nature’s most remarkable displays, but even the most beautiful leaves will eventually fall. When too many accumulate in your yard, they can smother the lawn and keep it from growing. They can also attract pests. To avoid these problems, you may end up having to spend hours raking and bagging fallen leaves. While you can’t altogether avoid this chore, these leaf-raking tips from the tree pros at Red’s Tree Service can make the process faster and more efficient so you can enjoy those perfect Mid-South fall days.

Use the Right Rake 

There are a couple of things to consider when picking out a rake. You want a rake that is both comfortable to use and effective. Narrow rakes don’t gather as many leaves at a time, and the chore will take you much longer than necessary. Also, look for rakes labeled “no-clog.” These have angled tines that won’t pierce the leaves and create blockages.

If you can’t keep a good posture while you’re raking, you’ll become tired and sore. You could even injure your back. Plus, you’ll have to rake more often since you can’t do it as long. To avoid this, choose the right rake for your body. Before you buy your rake, make sure it feels good to use.

Wait for Leaves to Falling

Don’t bother raking every time a new batch of leaves falls. Wait until your trees are practically bare before taking on the job. 

Save Time With Tarps 

If the thought of filling small bags from a large pile of leaves over and over again sounds agonizing, consider raking your leaves on to a lightweight tarp. You can then tie the ends of the tarp together to take the leaves to a community collection center. Or, you can roll the tarp into a cylinder and funnel the leaves into your bags much more efficiently. 

Rake Before it Rains 

If rain is in the forecast, don’t put off raking that carpet of leaves you’ve meant to get around do. After a rainstorm, fallen leaves become soggy and dense, clumping together and clogging rakes, vacuums, and leaf blowers. All of this will make the task much more of a headache. 

Make Sure You’re Comfortable 

Comfort may not be the first thing on your mind when it comes to household chores, but it’s not something you should overlook for labor-intensive projects. Fallen leaves are dry and dusty, and the particles that raking, mowing, and leaf blowing stir up can irritate your eyes, sinuses, and irritate exposed skin. The dust is especially significant if you have allergies or asthma. Wearing a dust mask will keep you comfortable and safe, and a long-sleeved shirt and long pants can protect your skin. 

It’s also smart to wear durable work gloves, especially if you don’t do this repetitive motion often. Raking can cause painful blisters on unprotected hands. Remember to stand up straight and switch your leading hand to prevent fatigue and injury. 

And, of course, know your personal limits. There’s no need to rush through the job and wear yourself out. You’ll have several weeks to rake, so stop when you feel tired. 

10 Leaf-raking tips no one ever told you

Mulch While You Mow

If you only have a few fallen leaves in your yard, you can get rid of them while mulching your lawn at the same time. Just mow over the leaves. If your lawnmower has a mulch setting, even better. The blades will chop the dry leaves into small flakes that will quickly decompose and add nutrients to your lawn. 

Rake Small Piles to Bag 

If a kid or kid at heart has been looking forward to playing in a big pile of leaves, it’s best to bag or remove the leaves right away. Otherwise, a gust of wind can undo all your hard work. If you’re planning on bagging the leaves, rake into piles about the size of the bag. This will also make it easier to take breaks when you’re tired because you aren’t leaving anything undone. 

Use Leaf Blowers and Vacuums 

Leaf blowers and vacuums can do a lot of your work for you. As the name suggests, a leaf blower can significantly reduce the time you spend raking if you use it correctly. Start by sectioning out the yard and establishing a grid pattern, then work the leaf blower back and forth in rows. Make sure you aren’t too close or too far from the leaves. It can take a little time to get your technique just right, but it can be worth it in the long run. 

You may also consider investing in a yard vacuum with a built-in shredder. The vacuum sucks up the leaves and then chops them up into small pieces, so you don’t need to use as many bags. Yard vacuums also make it easier to pick up leaves under shrubs, between bushes, on top of stone or mulch, and in other places where raking can be tricky.

Some leaf blowers include a vacuum or mulch setting, so you get the best of both tools. You can use the chewed-up leaves from using the mulch setting to make leaf mold, an all-natural, nutrient-rich mulch-type dressing to replace store-bought mulch.

Plan Your Grid 

If you put all of your leaves in a central location, you’ll waste a lot of time and energy running back and forth. Instead, plan a raking grid by separating your lawn into sections and raking each section row by row. Using a grid pattern makes it easier to have a perfectly clean lawn. 

Let The Wind Work for You

Breezy fall weather may seem like a hindrance to your leaf raking, but you can actually use it to your advantage. Rake in the same direction the wind is blowing, and the gusts will help move the dry leaves along. If you rake against the wind, you’ll have to work twice as hard as the leaves blow back the way you came. 

If you found these leaf-raking tips helpful, contact Red’s Tree Service for more tree care tips or services that require the experience of a professional.

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Christmas Tree Care

Trimming the bottom branches of a live Christmas tree

Prevent your live Christmas tree from becoming hazardous or catching fire as it dries out. Knowing how to keep your cut Christmas tree fresh through the holidays will keep your home cheery and holiday spirit safe. gathered information on how to select, care for, set up, and eventually dispose of your live Christmas tree.

Fresh Christmas Trees

The first measure of care for your live Christmas tree is selecting a fresh, vibrant tree. Consider the following when looking for the perfect tree:

Christmas tree selection and transportation
  • The tree’s needles must be fresh and resilient. Gently hold one of the branches about six inches in from the tip. Then, between your forefinger and thumb, pull your hand in so the branch slides between your fingers. Needles shouldn’t snap or fall off the tree. If they do, move on to the next one.
  • Lift the tree and lightly bounce it on the ground to ensure needles are firmly attached all around the tree. Check for any needles falling off. A tree is considered fresh if only a couple of needles come off after being bounced.
  • The tree should have a vibrant green color and a pleasant fragrance to it.
  • Fresh trees have more moisture and are therefore more fragrant with firmer needles, provided they are kept cool, out of the sun, and in stands with fresh water.
  • Limbs of the tree should be sturdy enough to hold your decorations and lights.

Note: Even if you cut down your own tree, you should take the time to verify its freshness and resilience before making the cut. Drought, disease, and infestation can cause a pine tree to dry out or become brittle.

Tip: When you search for the perfect tree, take along one or two of your heaviest ornaments. Hang them on a limb to “measure” the limbs’ sturdiness.

Ornaments to test a Christmas tree strength

How to Keep a Christmas Tree Alive

Before taking your tree indoors, you can give it the best possible chance of surviving the holiday season by addressing the following:

Tree Location – Go to the intended location of the tree and make sure that:

  • The tree will not be near any heat sources (fireplace, televisions, radiator, etc.)
  • There are no heating/AC vents directed at the location
  • There is enough space so the tree can stand without touching any surrounding walls
  • The location has “low to no” traffic
  • The tree will be in a cool and shaded location
  • Outlets can be easily reached

Note: In smaller homes with limited space, select a smaller live tree or use an artificial tree.

Tree Preparation – Before taking your tree indoors, there are three things to do:

  1. Vigorously shake or bounce the tree to remove any loose needles
  2. Cut a 1/2” disc from the bottom of the tree trunk
  3. Attach the tree stand with a water reservoir (minimum 1-quart capacity)

Tip: The tree trunk base should be submerged in water as quickly as possible after being cut. Waiting too long may result in the tree naturally “sealing” the wound, preventing it from taking up water.

Tree Watering – There are multiple myths and numerous concoctions regarding what a tree needs to stay fresh. However, if you have prepared the tree’s location and freshly cut the trunk base, plain tap water will help the tree stay fresh and vibrant. Consider the following:

  1. The reservoir of your tree stand should hold at least a gallon of water
  2. The tree must “drink.” If it is not taking up water, cut another 1/2” disk from the trunk and immediately return it to the water
  3. On the first day, the tree will likely consume one gallon or more of water
  4. Your tree will then consume around a pint of water per day (check it daily)
  5. Avoid using any additives to the water (plain water is adequate)
  6. Do not let the tree run out of water
Watering a Christmas tree to keep it fresh and vibrant

Water is essential, as it prevents the tree from drying out, needles from dropping off, and the boughs from drooping. Water is also the key to keeping your tree fragrant through the season.

Tip: Before leaving the tree lot or nursery where you bought the tree, make sure they will replace the tree if it does not take up water.

Lighting a Christmas Tree

How you decide to light your tree may have a tremendous influence on its ability to retain moisture and stay fresh.

Over the past few decades, tree lights have gotten smaller, more numerous, and safer. It is highly discouraged to use traditional incandescent bulbs (with a wire filament) on live trees as they heat up, accelerating the drying process.

LED (Light Emitting Diodes) Christmas tree lighting has surged in popularity for their durability and energy efficiency. These lights don’t have filaments, so they produce considerably less heat than traditional incandescent lights.

Christmas tree led lights to prevent fast drying

Read More about lighting your Christmas tree at

Christmas Tree Disposal

When you’re finished with your tree or it has dried out, you have multiple options. Consider the following ways of disposal:

  • Start a new compost pile
  • Take it to a recycling center
  • Chip and use it as mulch
  • Submerse the tree in a pond
  • Ask your municipality if they offer pickup and disposal options
Dried out Christmas tree ready for disposal

Tip: Once you’ve removed the tree from your home, getting up all of those fallen needles may pose a challenge. Avoid frustration by using your vacuum’s hose (no attachment needed) to quickly draw up the needles.

Note: When pine trees are chipped and used as mulch, they lower the soil’s pH, making it more acidic.

How to Keep a Christmas Tree Alive

In this article, you discovered valuable information about selecting, caring for, setting up, and disposing of your live, fresh-cut tree.

When you invest the time to properly care for your live Christmas tree, you give it the means to stay fresh and vibrant throughout the holidays.

Not caring for your Christmas tree can result in the tree’s accelerated dying and drying, creating an extreme fire hazard potentially ending in catastrophic fire damage to your home.


Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

200 Cobb Pkwy N Ste 428 Marietta, GA 30062
(678) 505-0266

Beech Leaf Disease – New Illnesses Impact Trees Too

signs of beech leaf disease

Striping on leaves characteristic of beech leaf disease.

We often don’t think of our trees as getting “sick,” but just as people can contract diseases, trees can too. Some of these diseases have been present for centuries and some are relatively new, or sometimes new to a geographic region. Just as new illnesses are discovered that impact people, new tree diseases also occur and only through study and research do we learn more about the origins of the disease, its impact on plants and potential treatments.

One such recent example is beech leaf disease (BLD). This is an emerging disease of American and European beech that was first observed in Lake County, Ohio (Cleveland area) in 2012. Since it was detected, the disease has been observed in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Ontario, Canada.

BLD is caused by nematodes, microscopic worms, which feed on plant foliage. The nematode, Litylenchus crenatae mccannii, is thought to have been introduced from Southeast Asia, where it is likely endemic. The nematode has been reported on Japanese beech in Japan with mild symptoms. In North America, however, the impact is much more severe. Healthy beech trees have been observed dying in as little as six years from the onset of symptoms.

Signs of Beech Leaf Disease
The nematodes overwinter in the buds, where the feeding damage actually develops. After successive years of infestation, nematode populations build up and symptoms become more severe leading to bud death, general decline, and eventually, tree mortality.

Early signs include distinct striping between the leaf veins, gall tissue in interveinal discoloration, and darkening and/or chlorosis of an infested area. The symptoms typically progress from the bottom of the canopy upward, but effects can be seen randomly scattered throughout the tree’s canopy.

Looking at the top of the leaves shows interveinal discoloration that is cupped or puckered in appearance. After several years of infestation, leaves become deformed, chlorotic, and have a thickened, leather-like texture. At this point, photosynthetic capacity is limited, and trees cannot produce the amount of carbohydrates needed for overwintering. This results in a general lack of vigor. The disease stresses the tree, and predisposes it to other secondary invaders, such as insect borers and fungal cankers.

There is still much more to learn about BLD as it continues to spread and little information is currently available on management. For now, observation and quarantine with the restriction of moving plant materials is the recommended way to slow down disease progression.

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Kudzu Vines Killing Trees

Kudzu out competes everything from grass to plants and even mature healthy trees

Keep your trees from being engulfed and killed by invasive kudzu vines. Knowing how to stop and control kudzu vines will help you save your trees, shrubs, and plants. assembled the following information about kudzu vines to help you understand their destructive nature and keep them from causing catastrophic damages to your trees.

Kudzu Vines and Trees

Kudzu vines can trail or climb. When they climb trees, they practically glue themselves to the bark of their host as they climb. Once breaching the canopy, the vine spreads rapidly, causing extreme shading of the tree.

If the affected tree doesn’t decline from girdling, it will certainly die once the vine completely overshadows the canopy unless immediate action is taken.

How To Safely Remove Kudzu from a Tree – The following steps will help you stop kudzu vines from killing your trees.

• Locate and cut the vine’s lower-most growth at the base of the tree
• Apply a 50% solution of triclopyr to the vine’s stumps to kill the roots
• Let the vine die on the tree. Pulling it off may cause severe bark damage.

Tip: Persistent weeding, mowing, and/or grazing (especially during the growing season) will deter the vine from reestablishing itself.

Kudzu Invasive Species

Kudzu (Pueraria montana var. lobata) vines are fast-growing, woody, hairy, trailing, or climbing vines that can grow to lengths of 100 feet with a massive taproot. The vine has large compound leaves with three broad leaflets. The plant bears long flower clusters of late-blooming reddish to purple flowers and brown, hairy, flattened seed pods.

Kudzu flowers are late blooming red to purple clusters that yield flattened seed pods

Introduction to the US – Kudzu, native to Asia, was introduced to the United States in the late 1800s as a means of erosion control, livestock forage, and ornamental purposes (introduction occurred in 1876 at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition where it was exhibited as an ornamental vine).

Plant Reproduction – Kudzu’s spread is primarily vegetative by taking root at nodes where the vines contact soil and subsequently form entirely new plants. The plant can also spread by seed, but few viable seeds are found in each pod.

Plant Growth and Habitat – Pueraria montana grows well in multiple habitats and soil types. Its most aggressive growth rate occurs where winters are mild, average summer temperatures are above 80°F, and annual rainfall reaches or surpasses 40 inches. However, the plant’s robust root system helps it survive summer or extended drought conditions. In areas where the plant successfully establishes itself, it can be found in abundance along roadsides, old/abandoned fields, forest edges, and other sunny areas.

Since its introduction, kudzu has spread fervently. It is currently present from New York to Florida and from nearly the entire eastern seaboard as far west as Arizona (Oregon and Washington have also reported confined cases of the species).

USDA Classification – In 1953, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) removed this plant species from its list of allowable cover plants. Then in 1970, kudzu was listed as a common weed of the South.

Note: By growing up to 12 inches per day, this invasive species can out-compete and kill everything from grasses to mature trees, crowding and shading them.

Kudzu vines overgrowing trees

Kudzu Control and Prevention

Effective control methods of Pueraria montana depend on the size and location of the infestation. Consider the following:

Small or Poorly-Established Patches – These can usually be eliminated by repeated weeding, mowing, and/or grazing during the growing season.

Large or Well-Established Infestations – While weeding, mowing, and/or grazing effectively slow this type of infestation, it will typically not kill the roots of the larger plants.

These infestations can also be controlled with a foliar solution of 2% to 3% glyphosate or triclopyr plus a 0.5% non-ionic surfactant to thoroughly wet all the leaves.

After surface vegetation is controlled, you can dig and cut into the central root system and apply a 50% solution of glyphosate or triclopyr to the wounded roots.

When an infestation encroaches on desired vegetation, avoid using chemical control methods and manually remove the plant(s).

Tip: All treatments should be monitored for multiple growing seasons to prevent re-sprouting.

Advisory: When using any herbicide or pesticide, follow all directions/instructions on the label. “The label is the law!”

Kudzu (Pueraria montana var. lobata)

In this article, you discovered essential information about kudzu vines, how to stop them from killing your trees, and how to eliminate them altogether.

By taking swift action to control this highly invasive plant species, you can prevent your trees and landscape from being over-grown and snuffed out.

When you ignore a kudzu infestation, you are potentially signing a death warrant for all vegetation in its path, ranging from grasses to mature, healthy trees.


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Ginkgo – Grand and Golden

Ginkgo biloba, commonly known as ginkgo or maidenhair tree is often called a ‘living fossil.’ It’s the only survivor of an ancient group of extinct trees in the division Ginkgophyta that are older than the dinosaurs. The proof is found in fossils that date back 270 million years.

ginkgo biloba

The ginkgo tree in all its autumn splendor.

These days, ginkgo is known as an excellent tree for planting in urban and suburban landscapes where space allows. It can thrive under harsh environmental conditions that would cause many other different tree species to fail. This hardy tree can tolerate concerns like drought, de-icing salts and soil compaction.

Ginkgos have an angular crown and long, erratic branches. They produce deep roots that in turn make the tree very resilient under windy conditions. Young trees are often tall and slender, and sparsely branched with the crown becoming broader as the tree ages. With their powerful combination of resistance to disease and insects and a strong root system, ginkgo is typically a very long-lived tree species.

This tree, however, offers much more than its steadfast reliability. The pretty green leaves have a distinct fan shape with a groove in the middle. In fact, these two parts of the fan are where the name biloba (two lobes) originates. When autumn arrives, the leaves turn a brilliant and bright shade of yellow. Unlike other trees, it is very common for the leaves to drop seemingly all at once resulting in a carpet of gold beneath the tree.

Ginkgos thrive in moist, well-drained soil, but they can tolerate poor soil and difficult conditions. While the tree is hearty, treatment may sometimes be needed for mealy bugs and lesion nematodes as well as disease including fungal leaf spot and root rot. These trees are also dioecious, which means that there are male and female parts on different trees. While ginkgo makes a fantastic specimen tree, females are notorious for producing copious amounts of fruit that emit a foul odor. Luckily, most nurseries sell the male plant.

This fascinating tree is a truly unique and welcome landscape addition for amazing autumn color.

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Ticks Like the Same Places You Do

Everyone is outside these days, taking long walks in the park or on hiking trails and creating new spaces in their own backyards. It’s amazing to see people embracing the outdoors! When participating in outdoor activities, even in and around your home, it is important to be aware of ticks and the preventative measures you can take to help minimize the risk of exposure to tick-associated illnesses including Lyme disease.

deer tick

Deer ticks, which can carry Lyme disease, are tiny and difficult to spot.

Ticks have become a major issue with increasing populations and species that attack people, pets, and livestock. You might be surprised to learn that most cases of Lyme disease, one of the most common and well-known tick-borne diseases, are picked up from bites that occur during activities around the home. These pests are pervasive and easy to find in home landscapes.

Management of tick populations can be a formidable task as ticks are notoriously resilient. So how can you reduce your exposure to ticks? Unfortunately, there is no single treatment that will eliminate tick exposure on its own. However, a multi-faceted approach can help protect you and your property.

First and foremost is to protect yourself by following health department tick safety guidelines. Make sure to use a repellent spray, cover up skin and check yourself, others and pets when you come inside.

In your yard, an IPM (integrated pest management) approach that incorporates both cultural and chemical treatments will have the most success.

Cultural practices are practices that make it harder for pests (like ticks) to become established in a landscape. One good example is to create a tick barrier of wood chips approximately three feet wide around lawn edges. This mulched area is a less hospitable environment for ticks and serves as a physical barrier between more wooded areas and lawn. You should also mow the lawn frequently, keep weeds at bay and rake up and remove piles of leaves. While leaving dead leaves can be beneficial to your lawn, if you live in an area densely populated with ticks, removing them is a good course of action to help eliminate tick habitats.

Another consideration is the relationship of ticks and their hosts including deer and mice. It’s important to discourage deer from visiting your property with fencing and repellents and keep firewood in a dry area to deter mice. Keeping their hosts out of your yard will help keep ticks out too!

Finally, pesticide treatments targeting tick habitats, including wooded areas around the home and the borders along woodland edges, ornamental plantings, and stone walls can suppress populations. Timing, proper application and frequency of these treatments is important for best results.

While managing tick populations and reducing exposure is not a one-step process, by taking a few precautions, you can substantially reduce the risk of Lyme disease and other tick-associated illnesses. So don’t let ticks stop you from enjoying the great outdoors! Be aware and prepared and keep enjoying beautiful outdoor spaces.

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The Importance of Trees on Your Property

Trees play a significant role in our environment, and they also have many great benefits when we have them on our property. They provide shade and a cooler atmosphere during warmer months of the seasons. Like any other plant, we have to take proper care of them, so they don’t die from unwanted circumstance.

Tree Stump Removal

Why We Need Trees

Trees make the world turn. Yes, they capture all the pollution and harmful gases, while releasing oxygen for all living things to survive. The more trees we have on our planet and on our property, the healthier we will live.

What Can Go Wrong?

There are plenty of factors when it comes to dead or dying trees. Severe storms and natural disasters can have negative effects on trees in forests and our yards. When you have dead or dying trees, they can be homes to many other problems including infestation, pests, diseases, and hazardous dangers. The proper thing to do is to get rid of these trees or stumps right away, so they don’t cause further problems. Remember, when you remove them, you should plant another tree or shrub in its place.

Dying trees on your property can be hazardous to your house

With severe storms during different seasons, dying trees are more susceptible to falling on your home if they are relatively close. You never want this to happen because it’s a danger to your family and your property. The only thing you can do is make sure you remove them properly if they need to be. Big Foot Tree Service is here to help you with those tasks. Contact Big Foot Tree Service at 973-885-8000 today or visit us online for more information about our tree removal services and tree stump removal services.



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Christmas Tree Care & Removal Tips

With so much uncertainty in the world right now, more and more people are choosing to pull out the Christmas decorations early. Putting up the tree, taking time to decorate it with meaningful ornaments, and seeing it all lit up can put some joy back into what’s been a really difficult year! If you’re thinking that this might be the Christmas you finally go for a live tree, we’re here to help you get the most out of it. Let’s take a look at the best Christmas tree care & removal tips!

Water wisely

It should come as no surprise that the most important part of making your live Christmas tree last longer is by keeping it hydrated with regular watering. Depending on who you ask, you may hear all sorts of old wives tales about adding certain substances to the base of your tree to preserve it for longer, including sugar, glycerin, 7-up, and even bleach. But none of these have been proven to help the longevity of a tree that’s been cut, and in some cases, they may actually shorten the tree’s life span! Stick the following time-tested tips instead.

  • Make sure you always have plenty of clean water in the reservoir. Remember that these trees have been cut, and as such, require a certain amount of water to ensure the trunk doesn’t seal over with sap. 
  • Since sap can seal over a cut trunk quite quickly, you should cut at least half an inch off the bottom of the trunk right before you place the tree in the stand. If you aren’t able to do this at home, the lot can do it for you before you leave.
  • Refill the water in the reservoir daily.
  • Keep your Christmas tree away from heat sources like vents and fireplaces. This can cause the tree to dry out and drop needles faster. 
  • Ensure your tree stays upright. If you aren’t able to achieve this using just the stand, you can try anchoring it to the closest wall or ceiling using small hooks and fishing line. This will help provide some extra stability.  

How to deal with dropped tree needles

The longer you have your tree up, the more needles it will drop. This happens naturally as the tree gets older and begins to dry out. Dealing with dropped needles is a regular occurrence with live trees, so you should have a plan in place to deal with them. Start with sweeping up as many needles as you can, as most aren’t good for your vacuum. You can then use your vacuum to get what you can’t reach.

Once the holidays are over and you begin taking your tree down, you’re doing to encounter the worst of your needles. It will be old and dry then, and prone to shedding more easily. To minimize this big clean-up job, you have a couple of options! 

The first is a disposable Christmas tree bag. This is a bit like a giant garbage bag that is put down before any decorating is done, then pulled up around the tree once the holidays are over to help you haul it out of your house without making a huge mess! If you choose to go with a disposable bag, just make sure you pick one that is large enough to fit around your whole tree. Look for one that is thick as well, so it won’t rip and tear as you try to move the tree.

The other option is to use a sheet. Siphon any remaining water out of the reservoir using a baster, then spread a sheet on the floor, remove the tree from the stand, and lay it down on top of your sheet. At this point, you should be able to loosely wrap the tree in the sheet, lift it, and carry it outside with only a small amount of needles dropping. When you get the tree to the desired location, just roll the tree off the sheet, and voilà! You’re all done! 

Disposing of your tree responsibly 

Unfortunately, you can’t just put a live tree back in a box like you can an artificial one. You’ll need to explore what disposable options are available to you based on your location! Before you begin taking your tree down, check with your community to find out when there will be pick-up days for disposed Christmas trees. Your local waste management company is likely to announce dates for this, so follow them on social media or check their website so you’ll know the pick-up dates well in advance. You can also take your tree to a landfill yourself in order to recycle it. 

Have a happy holiday season!

Having the right Christmas tree can make your holiday even more joyful, especially when you have a plan in place to care for and properly dispose of it. Following the tips above will help you enjoy a fresh tree for longer and keep needle droppings to a minimum. From the Red’s Tree Service family to yours, have a happy holiday season!

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