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How to Keep a Christmas Tree Fresh With Bleach in Tree Water

What do you put in Christmas tree water to keep the tree fresh? Learn how to make a Christmas tree last longer by adding bleach to the Christmas tree water.

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Keep Christmas Trees Fresher Longer

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.

By following these quick and simple steps, you will help prolong the life of your freshly cut tree by supplying nutrients the tree misses once it has been cut. Extended benefits of a fresh tree provide stronger branches (for ornaments!) and will preserve that unforgettable smell of the holiday season.

You’ll only need 3 ingredients to fortify the water you use for your tree:

  • 1 cup Corn Syrup
    The corn syrup provides the tree with glucose, an essential part of a plant’s metabolism.
  • 2 tablespoons Chelated Iron
    (find at your local nursery or garden center)Chelated iron is water-soluble and therefore immediately available to the tree to form chlorophyll.
  • 1½ teaspoons Clorox® Regular-Bleach2
    Kills bacteria that would otherwise inhibit the tree’s ability to take up water.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Protect the Floor Area
    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. Cutting the Tree
    Next, cut at least ½ inch 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. Protect Your Work Area
    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. Mix the Water Solution
    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-Bleach2, and stir to mix.
    If necessary, transfer the solution to a different container that allows easy pouring into the tree stand.
  5. Water Your Tree
    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.

Important: 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-Bleach2, helping to prolong the life of a fresh-cut Christmas tree — who knew?!