How to keep your tree healthy and green until Christmas

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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) -- Cutting down a real Christmas tree is a family tradition for many. With the holiday still three weeks away, keeping that tree healthy until Christmas day will be a priority not only for beauty's sake, but safety as well.

Charles Newby, the owner at Newby's Evergreen Farms in Wausau, Wisconsin, said business is busy after a good growing year.

If customers take the time to pick the perfect tree, they'll probably want to keep it looking good all month long and Newby said it's not too hard to do.

"The name of the game is keep moisture in the tree," Newby said.

It starts by picking out a fresh tree and before it goes on the car, it needs to be bundled tight.

"That keeps the needles inside and tight against the tree so that it doesn't lose so much moisture from wind," Newby explained.

If the tree doesn't go up right away after it makes it into the home, Newby suggested putting it on the ground with a blanket or tarp on it, which will keep the humidity in the tree. If you do that, you'll need to make a fresh cut again before you put up the tree. Fresh trees need to be kept in areas away from any heat source that could dry them out.

If it seems like your tree is sucking up a lot of water at first, that's normal.

"It will take a surprisingly amount of water early in the game," said Newby.

For a big tree, the first couple of days, it could take a gallon of water each day. There's a reason for that.

"The capillaries are open and it's easy to absorb the water," he said. "After a few days, it can't take up the water that it used to originally."

Newby also suggested getting a bigger stand that will hold more water. Keep in mind, the danger of an under-watered Christmas trees is serious. On average, Christmas trees caused about 210 house fires per year between 2009 and 2013.

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