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WVU Extension offers tree safety tips for holiday season

Image of a Christmas tree farm in Mt. Zion, West Virginia. The image shows green grass and a dozen Christmas trees against a blue sky with white clouds.

Real Christmas trees, like those shown here at Mt. Zion Nursery in Fairmont, deliver the authentic look and smell of the holidays, and can last well into January with proper care, according to WVU Extension's Dave McGill. (WVU Photo)

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The decking of the halls is underway and, while the ease and convenience of a pre-lit, artificial tree has its appeal, a West Virginia University Extension expert is making a case for the authentic look and smell of a fresh-cut Christmas tree. 

Dave McGill, a WVU Extension forest resources specialist, said a fresh-cut tree does require a bit more attention and care, but a few simple precautions can keep it in good shape into January.


“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 and make sure it’s stable. You also want to make sure you water it every day — that’s the critical thing.

“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.

“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. If your lights don’t seem to be working properly, don’t use them.” — Dave McGill, forest resources specialist and professor, WVU Extension

Other resources:

WVU Extension Video: Christmas Tree Selection and Safety with Dave McGill

WVU Extension: 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.



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