I got this year’s Christmas tree relatively early. We were expecting rain and snow later in the week, and I figured most of the trees for sale this year had already been cut anyway. So one day in the first week of December, I went over to the garden center to pick up a tree. I found this one, well shaped and thick, and brought it home, and set it in a pan of water out in the garage for a couple of days. The person at the garden center put a fresh cut on the end.
We put it up the second Friday of December, partly because that’s when my sister was available to join us. I’d picked up an additional string of smaller, brighter LED lights. I’d hoped to replace some of the older LEDs with warmer lights, but ended up just putting more lights on the tree. It looked gorgeous. It was as close as I’d come to the perfect tree in a long time.
After a couple of days, I noticed it wasn’t taking up much water– I’d fill it, and it would only go down an inch or so. It wasn’t until a week or so later, when it was starting to smell dry, that I remembered I’d put a big gash in the bark while attempting to center it in the stand.
By Christmas Eve, it was noticeably wilted. Thankfully, we’re long past the days of big C-9 incandescent lights — all the lights are either LEDs, or the smaller incandescent lights that don’t get very hot. This enabled us to get by for a couple of days past Christmas. Generally, we can keep a tree up until New Years Day, and sometimes a few days beyond, but this year’s tree came down today. It was just too dry and brittle. Generally when I take a tree out the front door, I leave a bunch of needles behind. This year, I left behind a trail of small branches.
Once I got it outside, I examined the trunk. I saw the gash I’d left initially when I mounted it in the stand, but I also saw a thin cut about a quarter of an inch above that, that I can’t explain. It goes nearly all the way around the trunk, and would have been about half an inch below the water line of a very full stand. No wonder it wasn’t taking up water. I don’t know where the cut came from, but I’ll keep my eyes open next year.