To reduce fire danger in your home during the holiday season, keep the Christmas tree well watered.
Two years ago I found this tree watering system at my local garden center, and it has been such a pleasure to use, I want to share it with Preparation Nation readers.
The Ever-Green Tree Watering System, disguised as a red and green gift, consists of a plastic drum with a lid and flexible plastic tubing. The drum has a fitting near the bottom which attaches to the tubing. The other end of the plastic tubing goes into your tree’s water reservoir. The package directions explain how to set the water level in the drum and begin the siphoning action. Then just refill the plastic drum whenever its water level drops by an inch or so.
Rather than watering the tree’s stand directly twice a day (and hoping as I grope under the tree that I’m watering the tree and not the floor), I’ve found that I need to refill the drum much less often . I have been able to leave home for a few days without worrying about keeping the tree watered. And at the end of the season, the tree leaves behind, not a shower of brown needles, but a tablespoon or two.
Several online sites have instructions for making your own siphon system. Take a look at one from Instructables.com, which is simple and clear. However, because the tubing goes over the top of the bucket in the homemade system, the siphon is much harder to start. If you have to buy the brass fittings and the bucket, you may have spent more than the cost of the ready-made system.
I am now using my purchased system for the third year. It has been efficient and reliable. This is one case where the ready-made option may be superior to the homemade in function, ease, AND price.
My only complaint is that I don’t love the designs of the “gifts”. This year I’ll be giving mine a quick coat of spray paint.
Do you have any favorite tools for safer holidays? Please share them by leaving a comment here.
**UPDATE** December 19, 2011 – Since I posted this a couple of years ago, my Ever-Green automatic tree watering system has continued to work beautifully every year. It has turned out to be a durable tool that works well over time. I still give it a big thumbs-up.