WVU forestry specialist recommends live Christmas trees

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WVU forestry specialist recommends live Christmas trees
There are good reasons to opt for a live Christmas tree, ideally sourced in West Virginia. (Photo courtesy Julianna Arjes)

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — While the ease and convenience of a pre-lit, artificial tree has genuine appeal, a professor and forest resources specialist is helping make the case for the authentic look and smell of a fresh-cut Christmas tree.

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Dave McGill, a forest resources specialist with the , says a fresh-cut tree requires a bit more attention and care, but a few simple precautions can keep it in good shape into January.

“Once you get the tree home, slice the trunk of the tree again just to make sure it’s a fresh cut. Stand it up in your stand, and make sure it’s stable. You also want to make sure you water it every day — that’s the critical thing," McGill said.

It's also important to find an ideal placement for the tree away from heat sources, he says.

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“Another thing about tree safety is where you position it in the first place. You don’t want to put it by heaters or too close to a fire source or an open flame, like a stove or an open fireplace, so that it doesn’t dry out and become a fire hazard."

McGill says that it's equally important to make sure the decorations don't present hazzards as well.

“When you’re decorating the tree, that’s a good time to think about safety because you’re going to put electrical lights on it. If your lights don’t seem to be working properly, don’t use them.”

Of course, buying a live tree from an in-state Christmas tree farm helps support the state economy in ways that the purchase of a store-bought artificial tree cannot.

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Hannah Booth, Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications for the WVU Extension Service, contributed to this article.


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