Driving Smart: Driving with your Christmas Tree

Before you head out to cut down your tree, be sure to know how you're going to get it home.

Oh, Christmas tree, how lovely are thy branches!

And we want to help you keep them that way as your tannenbaum is in transit, while minimizing the risk of damage to your car or someone else’s.

To help you avoid a holiday disaster of Griswold-ian proportions, heed these Christmas-tree transportation tips - Yule thank us later:

First, select the right size
We know it’s tempting to try for the world’s largest Christmas tree, but you need to make sure this thing is going to fit in your vehicle’s cargo area or on its roof.

Also be sure you have enough rope or bungee cords to properly secure the tree to the roof rack or cargo hooks.

Never work without a net
Have your tree netted at the lot to make it less unwieldy and will reduce wind damage to the tree’s needles.

Protect your car’s paint
If you’re taking the roof route, place a tarp or blanket between the tree and the roof to protect against scratches.

The same goes for the inside, if your tree fits in the cargo area. This will also spare you having to pick up those loose needles later.

The trunk goes in front
Resist the urge to point the treetop in the direction of travel. You want the base of the tree pointing forward so that the wind flows around the branches, as opposed to going against the grain.

Center the tree on the roof to minimize the effect on your car’s center of gravity.

Make it tight
Wrap your rope or bungee around the tree first, then loop it through the roof racks. You can pull the rope through your car’s windows, but we recommend against doing that.

Before driving away, give your tree a good tug to make sure you’ve secured it sufficiently. If it moves, you’ll want to pull that rope a little tighter.

Take it easy
Drive slowly and avoid highways. This will limit wind damage as well as the threat of the tree coming loose.

If the tree seller offers to do this job for you, take them up on it — they deal with hundreds of trees a year, while you probably deal with just this one.

You could avoid all this hassle and just a fake tree from the store. But, c’mon … where’s the fun in that?

KING


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