Artificial Christmas trees are durable by design. If properly cared for, the tree retain its original shape, style and luster.
Below is a five step process to preserve your investment in a pre lit artificial Christmas tree. Each of these five steps are completed prior to storing the Christmas tree each year. These steps are completed after removing all decorations but prior to unplugging the lights.
You may want to wear a pair of lightweight gloves.
Bright colored tape or bright colored string to help mark non-working lights
Strong twine or cloth covered bungee cords (non rubber bungee cords)
1. Locate and Replace Broken or Burned-out Lights
About 15-20 minutes for a 7. 5 foot Christmas tree.
The goal is to locate and replace any burned out lights. Turn on the lights on the tree. Starting at the top, trace the wire for the light string and make sure each light is functioning. If you find a non-working light, immediately replace the bulb. If you run out of bulbs, then mark the non-working light with brightly color string or tape for replacement when you get more bulbs.
It is critical to locate lights which are not working. The more lights which are not working on a light string, the more electricity the working lights have to consume. For example, if you have a 50 light set, each light consumes 1/50th of the electricity in the string. If 10 lights are not working, the 40 lights which are working are forced to take 20% more electricity. If this situation continues, the light string is permanently damaged. The lights will not work and each of the lights have a brown tinge. Light manufactures do not cover this type of damage in their warranty.
2. Un-Fluff Tree
Please note the following applies to the PVC style ("bottle brush") Christmas tree. It does not apply as much to the realistic Christmas tree.
About 10-15 minutes for a 7. 5' Christmas tree.
The goal is to compress the branches of the tree in an orderly fashion to preserve the lights, needles and branches.
To help understand what we are working with, look at the bottom row of branches on the tree. For a 7. 5' tree, there is usually 6-8 main branches attached to the center pole. Each of these main branches have baby branches attached. Below, wediscuss how to fold the baby branches back to the main branch. This is why we call it un-fluffing. When you put the tree up, you fluffed or styled the tree to make it full and pretty. Now we want to make it skinny.
Starting at the outer, top of the tree, carefully fold the baby branches toward the larger main branches. Work your way around the top branches and then move down to the next row of branches until the entire tree is un-fluffed.
It is a common mistake to simply put the tree back in the box without un-fluffing the tree. This causes problems compressing the tree into a smaller space. By folding the baby branches toward the main branch, the tree fits into a smaller space and the needles / branches are less likely to be damaged.
About 10-15 minutes for a 7. 5' Christmas tree.
Remove the top section of the tree. Turn the top upside down and gently press the branches toward the center pole. Lay the top on its side out of the way for a moment. (don't put it in the bag / box yet)
Remove the center section(s) of the tree. Turn the section(s) upside down and gently press the branches toward the center pole. Lay the middle section(s) on their side out of the way for a moment. (don't put it in the bag / box yet)
Loosen the bolts on the tree stand and remove the bottom section. Turn the bottom section upside down and gently press the branches toward the center pole.
If you have a strong twine or cloth covered bungee cords, it is a good idea to wrap the bottom and middle sections with twine or bungee cord to further compress the tree. You do not want to make it too tight but just a little compression makes the next step easier.
Make sure that when you are folding the branches toward the center pole that the light strings do not get caught or pinched in the hinges. If the branches are not easily folding toward the center pole, do not force it.
4. Placement in Box or Bag
The last step is to place the tree in a box or Christmas tree storage bag. Should you store the tree in the original box or a Christmas tree storage bag?The best answer is both. Buy the storage bag, put the tree in the storage bag and then put the bag in the box. Many people store their trees in the attic. It is much easier to get the tree in the attic when the tree is in the hard sided box. The tree bag protects the tree against the elements and dust.
About 10-15 minutes for a 7. 5' Christmas tree
Place the bottom section into the box / bag first. If you still have the plastic end cap, place it over the end which goes in the tree stand. The cap will help prevent this pointed end from going through the side.
Position the bottom section so the pointed end of the center pole is in the middle of the bag and the non-pointed end is at one end of the box/bag or the other.
Position the middle section so the widest part of the section is at the other end of the box/bag.
Position the top section, tree stand and any other parts in the middle of the box / bag.
5. Store the Box or Bag
The following are the general guidelines when storing an artificial Christmas tree. Frosted, flocked or white Christmas trees are particularly sensitive to extreme temperatures and humidity. These types of trees dis-color rapidly in hot and humid storage conditions.
Temperature - 40 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit
Humidity - As low as possible.
No animals - Birds, mice and rats love to live in artificial Christmas trees.