Keep Christmas Trees Fresher Longer

Another surprising use for Clorox® Regular-Bleach — who knew?!

Whether this year is your first visit to a local tree farm to cut down your family’s Christmas tree or you’ve been tromping off into the woods to find the perfect tree for years, when you get it home you’ll want an easy way to keep the tree fresher longer during the holidays. So instead of using plain water, fortify the water with corn syrup, chelated iron and Clorox® Regular-Bleach, and use that to water the tree! The corn syrup provides the tree with glucose, an essential part of a plant’s metabolism. Chelated iron (which you can find at your local nursery or garden center) is water-soluble and therefore immediately available to the tree to form chlorophyll. And Clorox® Regular-Bleach kills bacteria that would otherwise inhibit the tree’s ability to take up water. It’s so simple, and will help prolong the life of a freshly cut tree by supplying nutrients the tree misses once it has been cut.  Here’s how you do it:

  1. First, be sure to protect the floor area under the tree stand with some 6 mil sheet plastic (available from hardware stores) cut to fit just out of sight underneath the tree skirt. Place the tree stand on top of the plastic.
  2. Next, cut at least ½” off the bottom of the tree. This “fresh cut” is especially important if it has been more than a few hours since the tree was cut down.
  3. Before mixing up the tree watering solution, protect your work area by spreading out an old towel to work over — it will catch any drips or spills.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons chelated iron and 1 cup corn syrup to a one gallon container, and then add 8 cups hot water. Finally, add 1½ teaspoons Clorox® Regular-Bleach, and stir to mix. If necessary, transfer the solution to a different container that allows easy pouring into the tree stand.
  5. Once the tree is installed in the tree strand (and you know you won’t move it or adjust it anymore), add the tree watering solution to the tree stand — be sure to keep the old towel handy to catch any drips.

As the tree drinks the solution, you will need to refill the tree stand’s reservoir — never let the cut edge of the tree dry out! So check the tree daily, and mix up a fresh batch of tree watering solution when needed. This works so well! Yet another surprising use for Clorox® Regular-Bleach, helping to prolong the life of a fresh-cut Christmas tree — who knew?!

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