Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV


November 1, 2012

Simple ways to bulk up your Christmas tree

The Christmas tree is the focal point of many homes during the holiday season, so if yours is looking less than lush, here are some tips from the pros for, well, sprucing up its appearance.

— Location, Location, Location

Whether your Christmas tree is real or artificial, placing it in the right spot can go a long way toward giving it a bountiful look. Avoid placing a thin-looking tree in front of a window or light-colored wall, which will highlight its patchy areas. Real trees should be kept away from heat sources and radiators, which can drain them of moisture and fullness.

— Fluffing with Flourish

Spend time fluffing your tree for a more voluminous look, says Jami Warner, executive director of the American Christmas Tree Association, a California-based trade group.

She advises starting at the bottom of an artificial tree and working your way up, carefully adjusting each section as you go. To get the best coverage, tips that are closest to the center pole should be angled vertically and out to the sides to resemble a peacock's fanned tail. Consider researching the natural bend of branches and tips that your tree should imitate.

"Modeling your tree after a photo of that style will help you ideally shape your tree," Warner says. Her organization's website,, has pictures to help guide in fluffing.

— Nourishment

Real trees should be well-nourished to keep them looking full. Some green thumbs swear by a teaspoon of brown sugar or flat ginger ale, but Warner says fresh tap water daily is all you need.

— Dazzle With Light

So you've placed your tree in a cozy spot, arranged its base and branches just so, and now it's time to make it shine. Sabrina Soto, Target's home style expert and an HGTV designer, says one of the easiest ways to give a tree life is through lighting. She recommends allotting at least 100 bulbs for every foot of height.

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