By Montana Grant

Posted: December 12, 2020

Live trees are special, but they do require some attention. Safety is so important when having a live tree in your home. Just because the needles, on evergreens, are colored, does not mean that they are fireproof. In fact, the sap and moisture has left the tree after they have been cut, or when it is winter.

Trees are fire hazards. Years ago, live trees were decorate with flaming candles. How crazy is that? Talk about an accident waiting to happen. Even modern electric lights can spark a disaster. When a tree ignites, it quickly engulfs itself in flames, along with your home. Keep a fire extinguisher, rated for tree fires, nearby. Turn off the lights when not in the room.

You could buy a balled tree. The roots will be in a burlap covering and can be transplanted into the yard, that way the tree will keep on giving. Pre-dig the hole and have the dirt handy. You can only keep a Live Balled tree in the house for a week or so. Time the tree time accordingly. Once the tree is planted, cover the roots with soil. Cutting the burlap will allow the roots to begin their escape into your yard. Water in the Spring. Live trees are safer than cut, dried out trees.

Cut trees have no roots. Water is now denied to them, so they quickly dry out. Place them in a bucket of water. Your tree stand should have a water bucket component, so that the tree will stay moist. 2 weeks is a good time. After that, it is time to take the tree outside. Don’t forget to keep the bucket full of water. I also drill a hole into the trunk base to create more, and fresh surface area where water can absorb.

Only use safe electric lights. Place the tree away from curtains, heat vents, fire places, or other fire issues. LED lights use less electricity, are brighter, and safer. Your Grandmother’s lights may have special memories but can be fire hazards. Make sure that the tree will not fall over. If it does, bulbs can break, sparks can flash, and trees can ignite.

At the end of the season, use the tree for your lawn or garden. Prune the branches off and place them over the garden beds. The trunk can be used for firewood. Each year, I cut Tree Cookies from the annual tree that can be made into decorations and gifts. Many local fishing groups collect trees to sink into the local lakes for habitat projects. Mulch companies will also accept trees to grind up and reuse. The tree can keep on giving.

Branch out and enjoy!

Montana Grant

For more Montana Grant, find him finding his roots at

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