Responsible Parent AAA Reminds You How to Safely Bring Home Your Christmas Tree
Bringing home a Christmas tree with your car almost seems like it would be so easy that no instructions are needed. However, as yearly stories of trees and debris flying off cars show, perhaps this is one of those tasks that needs a bit of explaining to help you along, like a college freshman who doesn’t know how to iron his own pants, or when my mom sat me down at 17 years old and somewhat firmly showed me how to sew my own dang button back on my shirt.
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So, in the metaphorical role of my mother for all of the Christmas tree buyers out there, AAA has offered a number of tips to successfully bring home some pine (or fir, or whatever) without damaging yourself, your car, or any cars around you.
- Vehicle choice. Only tie the tree on top of your car if you have a roof rack—looping rope through open windows can damage your seals or trim. Otherwise, use an SUV that can contain the tree inside or a truck that can haul it in the bed.
- Tie-downs. Bring along your own strong rope or nylon ratchet straps to secure the tree—don’t trust the twine most tree lots offer.
- Net the tree. Wrap the tree in either netting or rope to secure loose braches.
- Protect the paint. Put an old blanket between the tree and the roof of your car to keep it from being scratched.
- Trunk faces front. Always aim the trunk of the tree toward the front of the vehicle.
- Secure the fir. Tie down the tree at the bottom, the center, and the top, using fixed vehicle tie-down points and looping ties between the tree’s branches to prevent any sliding.
- Test the tree. Before you hit the road, give the tree strong tugs in several directions to make sure it won’t come off.
- Drive easy. Take back roads and avoid highways, since high-speed airflow could damage your tree and possibly take out even the best tie-downs.
Now go forth and get trees, my friends, and don’t be the goober that dumps a tree on the road because it wasn’t properly tied on.
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Daniel Susco is a native of the Dayton-Cincinnati area, and has written on a multitude of subjects. He can discuss Shakespeare, expound on Classical Mythology, and even make witty jokes about Pliny the Elder (More like “Pliny the Rounder,” right?). In his free time, Daniel enjoys reading, cooking, woodworking, and long walks on the beach (just kidding – sunburn is no joke). See more articles by Daniel.