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84 Million Americans Will Face the Challenge of Safely Getting a Christmas Tree Home This Year

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How to Transport Your Christmas Tree

If decorating is still on your holiday to-do list, and you’re one of the 84 million Americans who will make their way to the Christmas tree lot, according to AAA, it’s important that you know how to bring your holiday-scented pine or fir tree home. Because if you fail to secure it properly like a scary number of Christmas tree-buyers surveyed by AAA, you might not only damage your car you’ll also put others at risk if the tree breaks free of your vehicle.

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“AAA’s survey revealed that 44 percent of Americans who plan to purchase a real Christmas tree will transport the tree using unsafe methods. This includes 20 percent who will tie the tree to the roof of their vehicle without using a roof rack and 24 percent who plan to place the tree in the bed of their pickup truck unsecured,” AAA reports.

In order to get the centerpiece of your holiday décor home safely, be sure to pack the right tools.

AAA recommends using nylon ratchet strips or strong rope for securing the tree to your vehicle. Make sure the car you take can carry the load, preferably one equipped with a roof rack, although the agency reports that a minivan, SUV, van or truck are good options, too. The agency also recommends bringing along an old blanket that you can drape on the roof of your car and gloves to protect your hands from sharp tree needles. Be sure that the tree is wrapped in netting before you leave.

The tree should face the front of the car when placed on the roof rack. If your van, minivan, CUV or SUV doesn’t have a roof rack, secure the tree inside the vehicle. If your vehicle doesn’t have a roof rack or enough interior room for the tree, AAA recommends renting or borrowing a vehicle that does.

“Secure the tree at its bottom, center and top using strong rope or nylon ratchet strips. 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,” advises AAA.

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Before embarking on a slow drive on back roads, try pulling the tree loose from various angles. If it stays put, you should be good to go.

“Higher speeds can create significant airflow that can damage your tree or challenge even the best tie-down methods,” AAA warns.