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WVU Extension Service expert offers advice for maintaining fresh-cut Christmas tree safety

Christmas feature

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During the holiday season, many families around West Virginia decorate their homes with garland, tinsel, lights and most commonly, the Christmas tree. While some opt for the ease and convenience of a pre-lit, artificial tree, others prefer the look and smell of a fresh-cut Christmas tree. A fresh-cut tree does require a bit more attention and care, but according to WVU Extension Service expert Dave McGill, with a few simple considerations, you and your family can safely enjoy your tree all season long.

Dave McGill

Forest Resources Specialist and Professor

WVU Extension Service

“Once you get the tree home, slice the trunk of the tree again just to make sure it’s a fresh cut. Stand it up in your stand; make sure it’s real stable. You also want to make sure you water it every day. That’s the critical thing. Sometimes, you let the branches come out a little bit, and then, you decorate it. And, when you’re decorating it, that’s a good time to think about safety because you’re going to put electrical lights on it. Another thing about tree safety is where you position it in the first place. You don’t want to put it by heaters or too close to a fire source or an open flame, like a stove or an open fireplace, so that it doesn’t dry out and become a fire hazard.” 

Video file (1:30): Dave McGill on Christmas tree selection and safety

Other resources:

WVU Extension Service: Proper Christmas Tree Selection and Safety

West Virginia University experts can provide commentary, insights and opinions on various news topics. Search for an expert by name, title, area of expertise or college/school/department in the Experts Database at WVU Today. 



CONTACT: Dave McGill, Forest Resources Specialist and Professor

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