Excerpt from Valley 101: The Great Big Book of Life, a collection of Clay Thompson’s columns for The Arizona Republic. (Originally published December 7, 2001.)
I got a letter from a woman whose husband wants to soak their Christmas tree in the pool for a couple of days before putting it up. She sounded quite worried about this.
Bob Khan, a deputy chief in the Phoenix Fire Department, has never thrown a Christmas tree into a pool either, but he has heard of the practice and said it’s a good way to hydrate the tree before putting it up. Make a fresh cut on the end first. Christmas trees are, of course, just big stacks of kindling waiting for a match, so anything you can do to keep them from drying up is good.
The traditional method of hacking a couple inches off the bottom and standing the tree in water isn’t very helpful, Khan said, because in a couple of days the sap coagulates in the cut and the tree doesn’t draw any water.
Khan has a new plan this year: Drill a hole an inch or so deep near the middle of the tree. Suspend a bag of water in the tree—the decorations will cover it—and then run a tube from the bag to the hole. Sap won’t fill up the hole, and the tree will have a steady supply of water.
I don’t know, but I’m guessing you could get something like an IV bag in the medical supplies section of a drug store. Or maybe you could rig up a hot water bottle somehow. That might work. You figure it out.