Christmas trees can be a colorful, festive cornerstone of your apartment's holiday decorations. But if a tree is too dry, it can pose a serious fire hazard. A Christmas tree that catches on fire can quickly spread to other parts of your apartment, possibly causing extensive damage before fire fighters have even arrived.
Fortunately, a dry Christmas tree hazard is fairly easy to prevent. First, be sure to water your tree regularly. As with plants, water that you add to the base of your tree will make its way up, keeping the whole tree moist. Second, remember that once a tree has been cut, its ability to retain moisture will start to decline. You'll probably notice that your tree will start to dry out and its needles get increasingly brittle. So, be sure to keep up your watering efforts after Christmas is over, and discard your tree once you think it can't retain water and may be a fire hazard. A tree should last at least through the holiday season, until after New Year's Day.
Steve Nix, the About.com Guide to Forestry, has put together a helpful, informative collection of tips for buying and caring for Christmas trees. To read more, visit this section of the Forestry GuideSite.