Tips for protecting your carpets and floors from your Christmas tree
Christmas is on its way! For many people buying a Christmas tree is a family event. Choosing the right tree, getting it home, putting it up and then decorating is an exciting experience which both children and adults look forward to and for many marks the true arrival of Christmas into the home.
The joy of seeing a small child’s incredulous look when they see their first Christmas Tree brought into the home is only slightly dampened by the knowledge that its arrival also means a little bit more work each day to keep it looking neat and tidy.
Keeping Floors and Carpets Clean
So here are our tips for looking after your carpets and floors and preventing needle shedding:
- Position – constant brushing as people pass will encourage needles to drop quicker and mean you are constantly vacuuming!
- Measure – the height and width of where you want to put the tree and take a tape measure with you when buying.
- Type of tree – there are lots of varieties of trees available some are better at retaining their needles than others. Get advice from your retailer or visit the British Christmas Tree Growers site for more information www.bctga.co.uk . But if you have a real tree you will always get a certain amount of needle dropping.
- Cut, Rooted or container trees – will determine the type of container you use and how you look after them. Cutting half an inch of a cut tree’s trunk will enable easier intake of water.
- Fresh is best – Test before you buy – branches should not be brittle and outer needles should not fall off of the tree when it is gently shaken.
- Tree stand safety– make sure you have the right size tree stand (with a container to water the tree) especially if you have children (touching decorations especially chocolate ones! or cats (who think you have supplied them with their own climbing and scratching pole!) It should be wide enough to support the tree and make good contact with the floor. Having to taper the tree trunk to fit the stand means you need a bigger stand for the safety of your home and family.
- Deep carpets– to protect the carpet and ensure that the tree stand has a solid standing cut out a sturdy piece of plywood (use a tree skirt or Christmas wrapping paper to hide it).
- Hard Floors– tree stands can easily scratch hardwood floors so put a non-skid piece of carpeting or similar non-slip mat under the stand.
- General carpet protection – it’s a good idea to place some plastic sheeting then a scrap piece of carpet under the tree stand to protect hard wood floors and carpets from accidental water spills or leaks and weight marks. It also makes it easier to clean up when the tree is removed.
- Avoid Direct Heat – A dry tree is a fire hazard so keeping it away from direct heat is important. The risks of being too close to an open fire are obvious, but being too close to radiators and not watering adequately will not only dry the tree out but also limit the tree’s ability to maintain its shape and sheen and will encourage faster needle shedding.
- Water Daily – whether cut, rooted or container trees they all need daily watering and you’ll be surprised how much they will need.
- A long spouted watering can – enables easier watering, but care should be taken not to let the tree base over flow as this will spill onto your carpet and create a damp area which could then develop mildew and mould.
- Sweep or vacuum regularly– to clear any needles taking care not to knock branches or the tree trunk!
- Stubborn needles – to clear needles that have lodged into carpets, rugs and between the slats of a wooden floor use the smaller attachments on your vacuum or use some duck tape to pull them out.
Personally looking after our real Christmas tree it very much worth the effort. The twinkling lights and the wonderful pine smell truly sums up Christmas for me. But when New Year arrives I am itching to get my home back to ‘normal’ and enjoy packing Christmas away and cleaning up. And so as we say a fond farewell to our tree it amuses me no end to see the hilarious sight of my husband wrestling with a half-naked tree (usually completely naked by the time it leaves the house) as it departs.