10 tree-trimming tips

From lights to ornaments, make this year's Christmas tree your best ever.

By Sarah Rogers

Putting up your tree

Finding the perfect tree, tangled lights that won't illuminate, and kids fighting over where to hang the ornaments: Sometimes putting up the Christmas tree can feel more like a family chore than a holiday joy. The good news is it only takes a little organization and planning to turn tree trimming into the cherished tradition you've always dreamed it should be.

Jackie Blackwell, chief elf at the Snowman Factory in Woodbridge, Ont., has been creating holiday décor magic for more than 25 years, and here she shares some of her expert advice and tips for a beautiful tree.

1. Choosing your tree
If you are using a real tree, Blackwell recommends choosing a Fraser or Douglas Fir as these trees are known for lasting longer when properly cared for.

Can't choose between a real or artificial tree? Frankie Flowers weighs the pros and cons of each.

2. Making it last
According to Blackwell, most real trees should last for about two weeks. She says, "the trick is to be sure you have a fresh cut and to make sure that you keep the water replenished." Removing one inch (2 cm) from the base of your tree's trunk right before bringing it indoors allows for better water absorption.

Blackwell also suggests regulating the temperature in your home so that your tree will not dry out prematurely and misting the tree with water periodically. She also says that she has heard of people adding a little sugar to the base water to lengthen their tree's lifespan.

3. Putting -- and keeping -- the tree up
When putting up your Christmas tree, ensure that you have a stand that is the appropriate size to support your tree. Blackwell also shares a professional secret for giving a tree some extra support: "Sometimes we use fishing line and attach it to a nearby drapery rod."

Once your tree is up and in the stand, Blackwell says, you should not move it because doing so could cause your tree to lose stability.

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