When You Should Take Down Your Christmas Tree, Experts Say

In some ways, taking down the Christmas tree after the holidays can feel a bit like unloading luggage from a whirlwind vacation. You’ve created some great memories, but now is the time to brush off the fallen pine needles and start fresh in the new year.
Well, it depends.
Some believe that Christmas trees – real or fake – should be taken down as soon as Santa returns to the North Pole. Others think it’s fine to save them until Cupid’s visit in February.
The statistics speak for themselves. Opendoor’s home decor report found that 51 per cent of respondents took their decorations down around New Year’s Day, but 84 per cent waited until late January.
Not sure when you should take down your Christmas tree this year? We’ve listed all of our options below. Some are rooted in Christian tradition, while other guidance comes directly from Christmas tree growers and pest control experts.
Really, there are no right or wrong answers, which means only you can decide what is best for you and your family. We’re just here to help guide you.

New Year’s Day

Many people love to end the year with a bright tree, but it seems many people put taking down their tree at the top of their list of New Year’s resolutions.
“January 1st is a clear time marker for the end of the holidays and the arrival of new beginnings,” says Ariana Lovato, owner and lead designer of Hive Home Design. “Time to declutter the house, clean up the clutter, and take a break from the stress of the holidays.”

January 6

“Many will take down their artificial Christmas trees, garlands or holiday decorations in the week following New Year’s Day to start the year afresh, or wait until Jan. 6 as the last day to remove all holiday decorations,” said the nation’s oldest Lewis Puleo, vice president of artificial tree company Puleo International, said “January 6 is known as Epiphany, Little Christmas, or Three Kings’ Day. From a religious tradition perspective, this day is when Magi (Three Kings or Wise Men) give babies The day Jesus brings gifts, so for many it makes sense to mark this as the last day of the Christmas season.”
As the song says, there are indeed 12 days to Christmas, with the last day being January 6th.

Any time in January

According to Neighbor’s 2020 “Undeck the Halls” report, more than half of Americans will not be unhappy with keeping decorations after Jan. 1. At a certain point, though, you might start to get eyeballs from neighbors: 31 percent said decorations should be removed by Jan. 15, while 33 percent extended the deadline to Feb. 1.

When your tree says it’s time

“Growing up on Christmas tree farms in the South, we heard many different perspectives and knew when it was time to demolish,” said Caitlin Carpenter, a second-generation Christmas tree farmer in Ash County, North Carolina, and owner of Third Day Market. Ideal time for trees. “Undressing the Christmas tree has become more and more a personal and highly opinionated topic, and no one is wrong and no one is right either.”
That said, if you have an actual Christmas tree in your middle, it’s really up to the fir itself to decide when it comes down. Unfortunately, it may be sooner rather than later.
If your tree shows any of the following signs, Carpenter says it might be time to take your tree down, no matter what day it is.
. The needles are falling, either by themselves or by the touch of your hand.
. stiff or drooping limbs
. It smells musty, not citrus or pine
. The tree doesn’t seem to be absorbing much or any water
A dehydrated tree can be dangerous in your home, especially if there are lit candles nearby. In fact, a holiday safety report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission found that fires caused by dry Christmas trees and holiday candles cost nearly $56 million in property damage each year.
Aside from this inherent danger, real Christmas trees can also unfortunately invite other natural objects to spend Christmas with you.
“Homeowners should inspect and shake Christmas trees, wreaths, and other live greenery thoroughly before bringing them into the home,” says Arrow Exterminators’ pest expert and A.C.E. certified entomologist. “Store all holiday decorations in plastic, airtight containers and when retrieved from the attic or basement, inspect outside before bringing inside.”
Hodges recommends that you also seal any holes or cracks around your foundation, put a screen over vents and chimneys, and close any openings near exterior doors and windows to keep out unwanted visitors. If there are any signs of pests or rodents, the tree should be removed and a pest specialist contacted.
Don’t let these things sway your resolve to own a real tree, though. “With proper care, you can easily enjoy your tree from Thanksgiving to New Years or Epiphany, because who doesn’t want the holidays to last a little longer,” adds Carpenter.

But really, take down your tree anytime you want

As long as you have an artificial tree — or you just have a green thumb — you can keep your tree alive for as long as you want. This is your house, your rules. What’s more, the aforementioned Neighborhood Report found that 9 percent of respondents wouldn’t mind if you hang up your decorations for a year.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to prolong the festive season. But there may be other reasons to keep your holiday decorations on until the end of the season.
“A tree can be thought of as a transitional item/security blanket,” says design psychologist and Overstock’s style director, Amber Dunford. “It’s a symbol of our comfort, so it makes sense that people would want to carry it through all seasons because Christmas can be such a magical time.”
No matter what your home Christmas decorating schedule is, it’s important to take a step back, take a deep breath, and enjoy the fruits of your labor. After all, it’s the most wonderful time of the year.


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