CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- My friend Scott Mourier sent this Christmas tree fireproofing solution to me recently, and I find it fascinating. Scott works at Dow, and he said while he's never tried the solution, it sounds reasonable to him.
It's from the Louisiana Emergency Preparedness Association (www.lepa.org) in Baton Rouge.
Here's what they recommend to make your Christmas tree fireproof -- and to keep it from losing its needles.
1. Once you get home with your new tree, get a saw and immediately make a fresh cut at the base of the tree trunk. This is mandatory for any tree you've bought. Make your cut about an inch above the bottom of the trunk.
2. Immediately after making your cut at the bottom of the tree, mix the homemade preservative as follows:
Into a 2-gallon bucket, add hot water from the kitchen tap. Fill the bucket to within an inch or so of the top, then add the following ingredients:
2 cups of Karo syrup
2 ounces of liquid chlorine bleach
2 pinches of Epsom salt
1/2 teaspoon of Boraxo
1 teaspoon of chelated iron
Stir these ingredients thoroughly in the bucket, then immediately stand the trunk of the tree in this solution. Leave the tree in the solution container for a day or two until you're ready to take it indoors and decorate it.
3. You'll need a place to store your tree for a few days before taking it into your home, as it takes a few days for the preservative to fully saturate the tree. An ideal place would be the carport/garage or possible a balcony for apartment dwellers.