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How to remove Christmas tree mold

What excitement a Christmas tree brings! Decorating the tree and lining gifts under it make millions of families happy every year. But is you tree free from mold? Trees infected with mold cause a seasonal disease called the Christmas Tree Syndrome. Symptoms include sneezing, stuffy nose, asthma, and allergies.

Don’t let the Christmas Tree sickness dampen your festive mood! Learn how to remove Christmas tree mold now!

This article will tell you more about Christmas tree mold and syndrome and what you can do about it. Here’s an overview:

  • What does Christmas tree syndrome mean?
  • How to clean mold off a Christmas tree?
  • What mold on your Christmas tree tells you?

Your guide to a mold-free Christmas tree

What does Christmas tree syndrome mean?

Christmas Tree Syndrome is the allergic reactions of people exposed to indoor Christmas trees. The mold clinging to both live and artificial trees causes Christmas Tree Syndrome symptoms, including:

  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy eyes, nose, and throat
  • Difficulty in breathing and wheezing
  • Nosebleeds
  • Allergy symptoms
  • Asthma symptoms

Do a thorough clean-up when you notice family members experiencing symptoms. Consult your health professional when symptoms persist. 

And familiarize yourself with mold in Christmas trees to efficiently wipe them out. Here’s how live trees and artificial ones bring mold to your home:

Mold can grow on live Christmas trees

Mold spores are invisible to the naked eye and are always around us. Spores are harmless when dry. Mold grows and multiplies as colonies when moist. 

A live Christmas tree can carry about 800 mold spores per square meter outside in cold temperatures. When brought into warm homes, they become moist because of the change in temperatures and activate the spores to become full-blown mold. Spore count inside the home can reach up to 5,000 spores per square meter in two weeks.

Mold can infest an artificial tree

An artificial Christmas tree that is not correctly stored are prone to mold infestation. The trees have to be put in tightly sealed containers. Avoid dusty, damp, and humid storage areas. Do not use organic packing boxes such as cardboard boxes. These types of boxes become conducive homes for mold when wet.

How to remove Christmas tree mold effectively?

The rule of thumb for wiping out full-blown mold involves two tasks:

  • To clean. Cleaning will wipe away Christmas tree mold spores that are potential disasters when they get moist.
  • To dry. Drying will stop any invisible spore from growing into a full-blown Christmas tree mold.

Another essential thing to remember: Use a face mask and other necessary protection when removing mold from your Christmas tree.

Keep on scrolling to learn effective ways to clean and dry Christmas trees from mold:

Removing mold from your live Christmas tree.

Live Christmas trees are beautiful to have inside your home. Plus, you get more breathable oxygen, a relaxing atmosphere, cooler air, and biodegradability from top to bottom.

Here’s more. The benefits of having a real tree indoors go beyond your home. Check them out:

  • The positive ecological impact. The trees are grown for an average of eight to ten years before they are cut down. More than 250 million trees are being grown in Christmas tree farms all over the US, and only a tiny fraction gets harvested yearly.
  • An economy booster. The live Christmas tree industry employs around 100,000 all over the US. Every year, an average of 20 to 25 million are sold.

So, effectively cleaning mold clinging to your tree is worth it. 

Here are the steps to keep your live Christmas Tree healthy and safe inside your home:

Before bringing in your live tree:

It would be best to rid your tree of mold spores before bringing them in. Below are the steps you can follow:

  • Use a leaf blower. Blast off those Christmas tree mold spores with a leaf blower. It also rids off other allergens like dust and pollen.
  • Wash your tree. Washing your tree before bringing it in will zap out the Christmas tree mold spores. Most of the spores cling to pine needles and leaves. Give extra attention to these parts when cleaning.
What to use for cleaning the tree?
  • Vinegar solution. Mixing one part of vinegar with one part of water gives you an effective disinfecting solution.

Wipe the pine needles, leaves, branches, trunk, and pot with the solution. You can also put it in a spray bottle and spray it away. It will help you get to hard-to-reach little areas. 

Vinegar can temporarily stop mold from growing and is a safe choice for those sensitive to chemical disinfectants. 

  • DIY fungicidal solution. Here is another solution to clean out mold in your Christmas tree. Mix one gallon of water, three tablespoons of baking soda, one teaspoon of liquid dish soap, and one tablespoon of bleach and put in a spray bottle.

Spray the tree and let it dry before bringing it inside your home.

After bringing your live tree inside your home

Now it is time to set up your tree. You need to:

  • Choose a place nearest to a sunny window. Avoid shady spots where mold can grow. Sunlight can stop mold from growing and also benefit the tree’s quality growth. Choose a window facing the morning or evening sun. But avoid intense light that may sun-scorch your tree.
  • Set your tree in a well-ventilated place. Humidity will remain at elevated levels if your indoor air is not well-ventilated. It can create pockets of stagnant moist air for mold to grow and thrive. 
Timing matters in setting up your Christmas tree

Real Christmas trees are alive. They react to changes in the atmosphere, unlike artificial trees. So, the better you can hold off setting up your tree. Three to four weeks is the longest period of time where you can safely to keep inside your house without the risk of mold growth.

Mold grows fast when your live tree is indoors because of humidity and the lack of ventilation and sunlight. To keep the tree free of mold, spray it with vinegar and water or your DIY fungicidal mixture every other day. Monitor the tree for mold spots so you can spray them down immediately. 

How to remove mold from your artificial Christmas tree

Artificial Christmas trees are preferred by 81% of American households. Here are the reasons why:

  • Low maintenance. Artificial trees do not need watering. Cleaning up is less because there are no falling pine needles and branches to sweep or sap to wipe.
  • Hypoallergenic. It is less likely to have mold and allergens on an artificial Christmas tree. So, there will be fewer Christmas tree syndrome symptoms among family members.
  • Safer than artificial ones. Live trees dry out. The dry leaves, pine needles, and branches are fire hazards, especially near Christmas lights. 

Plus, drying out parts tend to droop and make the tree out of balance. Decors may slip, and the tree can tip and fall. 

  • Economical and more convenient. Artificial trees can be used many times over. You can spend less than you would with a real tree. Plus, it is easy to set up with its stand and compact box that fits in your car.

However, stored artificial Christmas trees gather dust and may even have mold. Follow the steps below to keep your family safe from possible mold growth:

  • Unbox your tree outdoors. Put on your mask and bring out your Christmas tree from storage. Work on cleaning your tree outside where there is good ventilation.
  • Shake off the dust. Give the tree parts a good shakedown. You can use a leaf blower or an air compressor to make it easier. 
  • Apply vinegar and water solution to disinfect— mix 1 part vinegar and one part water to make a disinfectant. Put the mixture in a spray bottle and spray it on our tree. Then, wipe and dry all the tree parts. Allow all of it to dry completely.
  • Spray and wipe down with disinfectant regularly. Spray your tree with vinegar-and-water disinfectant every other day. Thoroughly wipe and dry. Keep your artificial tree clean all the time.
  • Tightly seal when storing. After the holidays, take the tree apart and store it in tightly sealed, dust-free containers. Do not use organic storage boxes because mold can grow when they get moist or wet. Choose a well-ventilated and dry storage area for your tree.

What mold on your Christmas tree tells you:

Mold grows only if these conditions perfectly happen: prolonged moisture, warmth, and organic materials to feed on. So, if you have thoroughly cleaned your tree, whether it is live or artificial, why is mold still growing? 

Here are some things you can check:

  • For live trees:

Your tree may need repotting. 

Your live tree’s pot holds the living roots of your Christmas tree. The soil keeping it alive and steady may have mold spores in it. You must keep the soil moist as you need to water the tree to keep it lively and green. That’s when mold grows, not to mention insects, bugs, dust, and other allergens. 

So, regularly change the potting mix of your tree to prevent mold infestation, especially in the roots.

  • For artificial Christmas trees:

When your family is experiencing Christmas Tree Syndromes symptoms after unboxing your tree, below are the possible triggers:

If it is a newly bought tree that you unboxed, then the mold or other allergens must have come from the shop. Clean and wipe down the box immediately. You can also return the item and buy your Christmas tree from a different shop.

It’s time for mold remediation

Your storage may be infested with mold. Do visual inspection of your storage. Check the dark and damp areas for signs or mold. Early detection of mold growth makes for easier clean-up. Examine your storage facility for these other signs that mold remediation is necessary.

CONCLUSION

Removing mold from your Christmas tree is vital for your family’s health during the holiday season. Watch out for Christmas Tree Syndrome symptoms. 

Keep your tree clean and dry, whether it is live or artificial. Do not allow mold infestation to thrive. Call a professional mold remover as soon as you can detect mold growth.

About the Company

Brooklyn Mold Removal is a company dedicated to providing quality service. We work with industrial hygienists and professional engineers to ensure that we deliver reliable, high-quality results to our clients. We understand that people need help with their environmental safety needs, so we prioritize assisting customers in making informed decisions about their situation. 

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