Fire Proofing Your Christmas Tree

The materials recommended should be stored safely and kept away from children.

What you will need:

  • 2 cups Karo syrup from the supermarket
  • 1/2 teaspoon of "Boraxo" from the supermarket
  • 2 pinches epsom salt from the drug store
  • 2 ounces liquid chlorine bleach
  • a small packet of chelated iron (it's pronounced KEY-lated) from the garden shop or plant store
  • two gallons HOT water

Mix the ingredients in a bucket or pail and use the solution to keep the tree watered. Let the tree have as much as it will take. Some of the ingredients encourage the tree to take the solution, while others actually do the fireproofing.

Here are hints for choosing the freshest tree.

Remember some trees are cut six or more weeks before they appear in your neighborhood. Also some tree farmers spray their living trees with a green dye a week or two before they are cut. This dye is applied to all trees, making it difficult for the consumer to tell precisely which is a healthy tree and which is not. However, it isn't a hopeless cause.

When you shop for a Christmas tree, check a small inconspicuous branch, and try to snap it with your fingers. It should not snap easily., and the woody tissue under the bark should be white or pale green. For the fireproofing to work you must find a tree that has live tissue.

As soon as you get home, IMMEDIATELY make a fresh cut with a saw at the base of the trunk. Cut the trunk off cleanly at least an inch above the existing end.


Earlier is fine, but don't buy your tree at the last minute and then expect to have it fireproofed before it goes into the house. Storage should not be a problem as long as the tree is protected from the wind. An ideal place would be the garage, a carport, a balcony for apartment dwellers. The last resort would be a basement, hopefully a cool one.

This safety message courtesy of