Trick Out Your Tannenbaum
You can do worse than display a fake Christmas tree. Even a real tree might not pull its holiday weight. For instance, if you don’t water your tree adequately, the yule blaze could include your entire house. Enter your tree team: Bert Cregg, Ph.D., an associate professor of horticulture and forestry at Michigan State; Erik Pauze, head gardener at Rockefeller Center; and Denise Piccolo, a professional tree decorator in Manhattan. Heed their advice to avoid the mistakes of other saps.
+ ODD NUMBERS Rockefeller Center’s huge Norway spruce has sported LED bulbs since 2007. The U.S. Energy Department estimates that you could cut your tree energy bill from $10 per season to a mere 27 cents if you switch. Run the Lumber Numbers Once you pick a room, check ceiling height. Your tree should come in 6" to 8" shorter, says Piccolo. That makes the most of your space and leaves room for a topper. Next, check the chart at right for a tree that meets your needs. Got it? Now gauge when to hit the lot by counting back four weeks from the date you want to repack ornaments—that’s about how long a tree lasts before crisping, says Cregg. To avoid a pre-parched pine, loosely grab a branch and slide it…