Below, Farmer offers his best tips for lovely, long-lasting holiday greenery throughout the season.
Getting in the holiday spirit? Learn how to make an easy DIY advent calendar in the video below, or buy one of these fun alternative calendars filled with holiday goodies like jams and beer.
How to keep your Christmas tree fresh and green
1. Choose the freshest greens possible. Shipped greens may have been held for months in cold storage, leaving them with a short shelf life—even outside.
2. Whether you’re cutting your own boughs or bringing them home from the florist, trim off just a bit more of each cut end to remove tissue that may be clogged with resins so the branches can continue to take up water.
Related: Read This Before You Go Foraging For Decorations
3. After trimming the ends, place greens in water for at least an hour to rehydrate them. There’s no need to immerse entire boughs except in the case of wreaths or other arrangements that have cut ends throughout. Otherwise, just put the cut ends in the water.
Related: Why You Should Buy An Organic Holiday Tree
4. Keep fresh plant materials away from vents, radiators, fireplaces, and other heat sources. “Our homes are toasty during the winter, and this warm air really dries out holiday greens,” Farmer says. “If decorating a mantel—which is so close to the fire proper—be sure the greenery is securely arranged in watertight containers such as urns, vases, or buckets to provide a steady supply of needed moisture.”