The holiday season is upon us, which means that most folks will be dragging pine trees in and out of their houses over the next few weeks. But while you’re filling your house with cheer, it’s important to remember that these festive firs could do a real number on your floors if not treated correctly. Here are our top tips and tricks to protect your floors from Christmas trees.
Prep your space
Pick a place in your house that is easy to see in, under, and around your tree and your stand. You’ll want to sweep, vacuum, and clean that spot thoroughly. Any dirt or debris caught underneath could potentially damage your floors under all that weight for several days in a row. Double-check that your stand is stable and that the bottom isn’t going to scratch your floor if the tree is moved or spun around.
Set your skirt
Christmas tree skirts have come a long way since the hand-stitched one wrapped around your grandmother’s tree. Now you can buy all sorts of mats, trays, and tree-sized bags to protect your floors from spilled water or fallen needles. Whichever you decide, make sure you’re limiting the potential for water damage. Stands can be overfilled, or water can get knocked out onto the floor quite easily. If you are unable to wipe it up right away, it may seep into absorbent materials and trap the water against your floors for as long as you have your tree.
Prep your tree
Before you bring your tree inside, whack the trunk straight down on the ground, preferably on the pavement, a few times. This will help any loose needles fall out before they make their way into your house and greatly reduce your chances of finding them in a corner in the middle of June.
Garbage bags are key
Large garbage bags can come in handy when moving your tree in and out of your house. They are the perfect tool to catch loose needles from falling off and being scattered all over your house while moving the tree. When you’re ready to bring your tree into the house, place one garbage bag around the base of the tree and pull it up as high as it will go to cover as many branches as possible. For big trees or small trash bags, you can also place a trash bag over the top of the tree to cover additional branches. Just be sure to remove this bag before you stand your tree upright, or all the needles it catches will fall out.
A helping hand
Moving a Christmas tree can be a nearly impossible task on your own because of its size and awkward shape. Ask someone to give you a hand when moving it in and out of your house. With at least two people, you won’t have to worry about the tree dragging against your floors. You can also coordinate a route from outside to your tree stand that allows you to carry the tree trunk first through any doorways or narrow areas. This will also help reduce the number of needles that fall off before it’s back upright again.
Be careful where you place certain ornaments on your tree. This seems obvious, but we think it’s worth noting since we’re constantly hearing about floors being damaged by fallen ornaments. Lighter-weight ornaments don’t tend to cause too much damage to your floor, but some of those heavier ones can potentially leave dents depending on the height at which they are placed. That’s why we recommend placing heavier ornaments on the lower limbs of your Christmas tree or securing them tightly to the thicker branches throughout.
Keeping your tree hydrated will help it retain as many needles as possible for as long as possible. Just make sure you don’t overfill or spill water out of your tree stand—as we said before, this has the potential to cause water damage and stains to your floor. Try to sweep and vacuum around your tree as often as you can. This will stop any needles from being stepped on and dragged across your floor, which may scratch them as well.
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