With all the fuss over the lights, ornaments and presents that will adorn your Christmas tree, it’s easy to overlook one simple accessory: the Christmas tree stand.
But a well-made stand can make all the difference between a healthy, sturdy tree and a dry, wobbly one. Here are some guidelines to consider when you’re shopping for a Christmas tree stand:
Width. This is the most important thing you can look for when buying a tree stand. A wide but lightweight stand will support your tree better than a small and heavy one. Eighteen inches is the bare minimum you should consider. A good rule of thumb is that the stand should be at least a third of the diameter of the tree.
Capacity. Unless you want to have to refill the stand several times a day, don’t get one that holds less than two litres (half a gallon) of water, and four litres (one gallon) would be even better. A tree generally needs about one litre (approx. a quart) a day per inch of trunk diameter to stay healthy. Some manufacturers make automatic watering systems for Christmas trees, but these still need to be monitored for leaks that might spoil your flooring or presents.
Construction. The stand should have wide-headed bolts that turn easily. Narrow bolts tend to drill into the trunk when you try to tighten them, which is bad for the tree. The stand should also have spikes or other structures that hold the base of the tree off the bottom of the stand at least half an inch, which makes it easier for the tree to take up water. If you plan to put the stand on a bare floor, look for a model that has rubber feet for security and protection from damage.
Composition. A Christmas tree stand should be a long-term investment. So it’s worth it to pay a little extra and get a strong, welded steel stand, which will last you a lifetime – something you can’t say about plastic or cheap metal stands. Likewise, avoid gimmicky stands that do things like play music or rotate the tree. Once the machinery wears out (and it will) you’ll be left with nothing to show for the extra expense.
For more advice and ideas on Christmas trees, lights and decorations visit Dobbies online garden centre and blog.