Cutting a Christmas Tree

Asked October 23, 2016, 10:16 PM EDT

I live in St. Cloud. For my Christmas tree, I want to cut a balsam pine tree on my lake property off the Gunflint Trail in NE MN. I will hall it home on the roof of my car. I want tree to stay reasonably fresh for about two weeks once I bring it indoors and decorate it. I was thinking about cutting the tree around mid-November and taking it to my home, placing it in water in my detached garage, and perhaps even rapping it in a damp bed sheet to keep it from drying out too much. Will cut trunk end off an inch or two before placing it in a tree stand with water at Christmastime. Is mid November too soon to cut my tree? Should I wrap the tree during transport to keep it from drying out? Would appreciate any and all of your thoughts about my "tree" plans.

Sherburne County Minnesota horticulture pine

1 Response

Here are two problems with your plan. First, two weeks outdoors, then two weeks indoors does not add up to mid November to New Years Day. Your tree will have to spend more than two weeks in your garage.

Second, the bucket of water that you put the tree in may freeze solid if we get some cold December weather. Ideally, the tree should be kept at "refrigerator" temperature: 34 to 40 degrees. If you can achieve that in your garage, then the trunk-in-the-bucket idea should work. If the tree freezes, then handling the tree while in the frozen state can damage the needles. Quick freezing seems to be especially hard on the tree. Here is a link on how the pros do it:
http://christmastree.for.msu.edu/pdf/Harvest_Post_Harvest/Recommendations_for_retail_lots.PDF

This link has good general advice:
http://ento.psu.edu/extension/christmas-trees/cultural-information/caring-for-your-cut-christmas-tre...