By Michelle Durham

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s holiday time again, and Philadelphia fire commissioner Lloyd Ayers wants to make sure those families that celebrate by putting a Christmas tree in their living rooms do so safely.

Today, surrounded by members of the Junior Fire Patrol at the Philadelphia Fire Academy in Northeast Philadelphia, Ayers offered tree advice.

“For the fresh trees,” Ayers said, “those needles should be green.  They should be pliable.   If they start falling off, put that one back (and) keep looking for another tree.”

Just before putting your tree in water, he said, take an additional inch off the bottom of the trunk to improve the tree’s ability to take up the water (see top photo).


For those purchasing an artificial tree, Ayers said, double-check the tag to ensure it is fire resistant.

Ayers says that fresh trees should be watered daily and not positioned near a radiator or heating duct, to avoid drying them out.

After the holidays, trees can be recycled.   Deputy streets commissioner Carlton Williams says there are three drop-off sites in the city.

“In fact, we have one right down the street, on State Road and Ashburner. The other two locations are Domino and Umbria, in the northwest section of the city, and in the southwest section of the city there’s 3033 S. 63rd Street.”

The trees will be ground up and used as mulch.


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