Christmas Tree Preservation Methods - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

1-05-2005

Christmas Tree Preservation Methods

Does It Work Wednesday

Christmas Tree Preservation Methods
By: Amy Jacquin

This Christmas tree experiment started at the beginning of December. We got three Douglas Firs from Lowes, along with a package of Peters Christmas Tree Preservative, which sells for just a few dollars a bag.

Once the trees were set-up, we labeled one for just plain water... the middle one for the tree preserver... and the third one for alcohol added.

Alcohol, you ask? Yes, specifically vodka. A new idea sweeping the Internet is to add a shot of vodka every time you water the tree. A doctor supposedly developed the theory, saying alcohol dries the tannin and allows the tree to absorb more water, keeping it fresher longer. So this tree got a shot of Christmas cheer for about four weeks!

"The National Christmas Tree Association in no way condones the use of alcohol in water for the preservation of a tree," says Steve Meier, who owns a tree farm in Jackson.

Meier warns against adding anything to your water if you have pets in the house. Plus, he says, the vodka theory is backward.

"Alcohol is a dehydrator, which will cause needle evaporation of your tree, so your tree will dry out faster because of the alcohol in the water base," he explains.

Amy Jacquin diligently keep our trees watered, and makes sure the Peter's preserver and vodka are added appropriately. The trees grace our second-floor lobby until after New Year's Day.

It's January 4th, most people would have taken down their trees yesterday, or this past weekend. Checking the these three, you can tell the one in the middle is just a hair darker green than the one on the left. And both of them are in much better shape than this one on the right.

So the one with the Peter's tree preserver is the darkest green, and it feels less brittle. Some needles do fall, but not as many as the other two.

The tree with plain water finishes second, it's slightly less green and you can feel that the needles are a little drier.

And the one with the vodka is just brown, and many needles fall with barely a touch. Which means Mr. Meier is right. Alcohol speeds up the drying process.

So it's worth spending a few bucks on Peter's tree preserver. We give it an A. But the Vodka theory goes bottoms up, and earns an F. Stick with plain water and keep the Christmas cheer for yourself.

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