CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Choosing just the right Christmas tree is only the beginning of what could be a rocky journey to bring that tree home for the holiday.
The Rumble family of Boston prepares to make that long trip to Boston from the Chestnut Mountain Christmas Tree Farm in Hatfield. They’re aware of the well documented Christmas tree relation struggle outlined by AAA. Over the years, drivers have been involved in thousands of accidents from an improperly secured Christmas trees.
But as the Rumble family finished tying down their tree safely-they confidently began their journey homer.
“You put the tree on a sleigh, it’s a great expense. We drive two and a half hours this is so comfortable,” said Judy Rumble.
AAA found that over a four year period, there have been thousands of accidents caused by improperly secured Christmas trees for the ride home.
“The main thing is you want to have the butt of the tree on a sleigh, leaning forward, and you want to have the first two ties to hold the tree from sliding back,” said Robert Schrader, owner of Chestnut Mountain Christmas Trees in Hatfield.
And adds AAA, follow all this advice and you too will enjoy an uneventful ride home with your newly chosen Christmas tree
Roads can be dangerous enough during the winter with increased congestion and weather conditions without the addition of Christmas trees flying off cars. AAA offers these tips to get your Christmas tree home safely:
- Before heading out to buy a real Christmas tree, make sure to bring strong rope or nylon ratchet straps, an old blanket, gloves, and of course – the right vehicle. One with a roof rack is ideal but a pickup truck, SUV, van, or minivan can work just as well.
- Once you’ve found the perfect tree, have the lot wrap it in netting before loading it. Loose branches can also be secured with rope or twine to help protect the tree from damage.
- Prior to loading the tree, cover the roof with an old blanket to prevent scratches to the paint and protect the car from any damage.
- Place the tree on the roof rack or in the bed of the truck with the trunk facing the front of the car. If the vehicle does not have a roof rack and is an SUV, van, or minivan – place the tree inside. If not, rent or borrow a pickup truck, a vehicle with a roof rack, or one that is large enough to accommodate the tree inside.
- Secure the tree at its bottom, center, and top using strong rope or nylon ratchet straps. Avoid using the twine offered by many tree lots. Use fixed vehicle tie-down points and loop the rope or strap around the tree trunk above a branch to prevent any side-to-side or front-to-rear movement.
- Once tied down, give the tree several strong tugs from various angles to make sure it is secured in place and will not come loose.
- Drive slowly and take back roads if possible. Higher speeds can create significant airflow that can damage your tree or challenge even the best tie-down methods.