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Tips for safely enjoying a fresh-cut Christmas tree this holiday season

West Virginia University Extension Service expert Dave McGill discusses tree safety.

The holiday season is now upon us, and many West Virginia families will be decking their halls 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 authentic look and smell of a fresh-cut Christmas tree. A fresh-cut tree does require a bit more attention and care, but according to West Virginia University Extension Service expert Dave McGill, if you take a few simple precautions, you and your family can safely enjoy your tree all season long.   


“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.”   

“When you’re decorating the tree, 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.” – Dave McGill, forest resources specialist and professor, WVU Extension Service  

Other resources:  

VIDEO: WVU Extension Service: Christmas tree selection and safety with Dave McGill 

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: Hannah Booth
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WVU Extension Service 

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