Tips for maintaining a fresh Christmas tree

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SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The Christmas holiday is right around the corner.

Many people are still trying to get that perfect tree to celebrate. Eyewitness News reporter Cody Butler shows us how to pick out and maintain that perfect tree so it does not become a fire risk.

Every good Christmas tree needs to be freshly cut at the base. It’s the root to having a hydrated tree when you bring it home.

“Keep it filled with water. Especially the first week. It’s going to drink a lot of water,” Dorothy Houser of Dot and Dels Christmas Tree Lot said.

Eyewitness News stopped by Dot and Dels Christmas Tree Lot along Keyser Avenue in Scranton. Its trees are freshly pre-cut and sold within one to three days.

“We go two, three hours away, go down, load our trucks, come back, unload, and there they go,” Houser said.

There are many pop-up shops that sell Christmas trees by the side of the road. What you don’t know is how long ago the trees were cut, which can pose a threat once you get it set up and decorated.

“The thing with cut trees is that they dry out and when they dry out, they can burn very quickly, which becomes the big concern,” Shaun Flynn, a fire prevention officer for the Scranton Fire Department said.

Flynn says Christmas tree safety boils down to age and the amount of moisture in a tree. A National Institute of Standards and Technology video demonstrates the difference. A heating source, candle, old or large Christmas bulbs, too many strings connected are ways a tree can go up in smoke.

“If you’re starting to lose a lot of needles, if it’s obviously starting to dry out, you want to make sure you get rid of the tree,” Flynn said.

For the tree stand on Keyser Avenue, customers have been happy with their product for 93 seasons.

Flynn recommends before purchasing a pre-cut tree to ask when it was cut down. If nobody knows, check the tree for dead needles or move the branches and if they have a spring-like response, you know you picked a fresh Christmas tree.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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