Christmas started early this year, with many getting our decorations and trees up the minute we'd packed away Halloween.
But, with a few weeks still to go until the big day, there’s a worry about whether we’ll be able to keep our pine needles perky.
Turns out, however, that there's a simple fizzy drink hack which could help cut Christmas trees last longer and look that little bit fresher right the way up until you take it back down.
Gardening expert Evie Lane from Primrose has shared an expert tip to making your Christmas tree last until the New Year, and it involves feeding your Christmas tree with lemonade.
"Cut plants like real Christmas trees are separated from their roots and no longer make food for themselves," she explains.
"While they need plenty of water, they also need feeding and there’s actually a surprising Christmas tree food that may already be in your kitchen".
Lane says a full-fat can of citrus fizzy drink, such as 7UP, is loaded with citric acid and enough sugar to keep the tree fresh.
"The glucose in sugar helps the tree to maintain its cell structure and prevent needle loss, even several weeks after being cut," she explains. "Adding lemonade is said to have similar results as feeding your tree expensive growth solutions."
To get optimum results from feeding your tree lemonade, Lane advises mixing one can with four cans of water and pouring into your tree stand.
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When it comes to how often we should be plying our real trees with the fizzy stuff, Lane says the best time to feed your tree is in the week leading up to Christmas, or when you notice your tree starting to droop and shed plenty of its needles.
"Feeding the tree before then could clog the pores in the tree and cause bacterial growth," she adds.
As well as watering your tree with lemonade, Lane says another way to keep your tree keeping fresh is perfecting the time you buy it.
“The best-kept secret for making your Christmas tree last longer is choosing a tree at the right time," she says.
"The later you buy a tree, the better it will look on Christmas Day as it has a stronger chance of remaining fresh. "
However, waiting too long means you could be left with the less desirable stock.
"The British Christmas Tree Growers Association (BCTGA) advise around 11th December to be the optimum time for choosing a tree.”
For those who are about to buy a cut tree or for the early birds who have had them up for weeks, there are some other hacks to ensure your tree stays fresh.
Recut the trunk when you’re home
Whether your tree has been delivered or you’ve taken it home yourself, Lane suggests chopping another ½ inch from the bottom of the trunk.
"Trimming the tree trunk ensures it’s at the freshest state when you’re placing it in the stand, meaning it will absorb more water and stay hydrated," she adds.
Think about where to put your tree
There’s nothing more cosy than a beautifully decorated Christmas tree beside a roaring fireplace, but this could contribute to your tree drying out far quicker, along with many other heat sources.
"A cool conservatory would be the best room to display your Christmas tree, as they’re relatively cool in the winter," explains Lane. "However, if you’re keen to keep it in the living room, consider a corner where it’s away from radiators, windows and fireplaces."
Avoid decorations that emit any heat
Ordinary incandescent Christmas lights can emit heat the longer they’re left on. "If you want your tree to last up until New Year, consider opting for LEDs for a safer, tree-friendly option that won’t dry it out," Lane suggests.
Go light on the baubles
It’s also important that you avoid packing your tree with decorations.
"Christmas trees are known for having durable branches but over loading tinsel, baubles and candy canes can weigh them down," Lane explains.
Water it daily
Some people are surprised to know that they don’t water their tree enough throughout the festive period.
"To keep your tree looking plump and full, you should be watering it daily," Lane says. "This is crucial in the first week of putting up your tree, which is when they take in the most water. Refill your stand every day, making sure the trunk is submerged in water."