The key to keeping your Christmas tree fresh

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    Just three seconds after ignition the inner part of the tree catches fire. In nine seconds, the tree is fully engulfed in fire.

    This video is from the Consumer Product Safety Commission demonstrating just how fast a dry Christmas tree can go up in flames.

    Safety commission officials say make safety a priority in decorating.

    Make sure that your Christmas tree has plenty of water, keep lit candles away from flammable items, and use caution when standing on a ladder or chair to hang decorations. Also, don’t overload your extension cords.

    Last year there were 100 Christmas tree fires nationwide, and 1200 candle fires.

    Many people are just now getting their trees. We spoke with one local expert on how to keep it fresh this whole season. She says the first few hours are crucial.

    When you decide on a tree, cut three quarters of an inch off the bottom of the tree. That allows the tree to absorb water. Also, you’ll want to have it in water within the first hour after you cut it. The key to a lasting tree is watching it the first few days.

    "You want to check it four, five, six times a day to make sure that it hasn't sucked out the water that you've already put in its pan because once it gets below that and it's out of water it will sap over again,” said Barb Shores, nursery manager.

    If it does sap over again, cut another quarter inch off the trunk to allow it to open up. You should be able to tell if the tree is sapped over just by looking at it, and the water level in the pan.

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