Whether you get your Christmas tree from a lot up the road or planning to take a weekend trip to the mountains to cut your own, the following tips will help make sure you get your evergreen home safely. From what tools you’ll need to bring to where to tie the final knot, we’ve got you covered. That’s Doing Car Care Right.
1. Tools to bring from home
• Tarp or blanket to protect the roof of your car.
• Gloves to protect your hands from splinters.
• Plenty of rope to tie the tree to the car roof rack.
2. Prep before you leave the house
• Measure the height of the room where you plan to display the tree before you leave home. The tree should be at least a foot shorter than the height of the room.
• Make sure to measure your vehicle’s roof area. It doesn’t do much good to know you can fit a 10-foot tree in the house, but your car is only 7-foot long.
3. Protect the tree
• Get your Christmas tree netted before leaving the lot to make it more manageable, and if it’s going on the roof, the tree’s trunk should be pointed toward the car’s front end. This will help reduce wind damage to the tree limbs and the tree will stay in place better when you brake.
4. Protect your vehicle
• If you are going to place the tree on the roof, place a tarp or blanket between the tree and the rack to protect the roof from scratches.
5. Secure the tree to your vehicle
• It’s not recommended that you put your tree on your car’s roof unless it has a roof rack. If your car does not have a roof rack however, first open all their car doors then tie the tree snugly to the roof with rope.
• If you do have a roof rack, lace the rope a minimum of 4 times over the tree and through the roof rack to make sure you have several strong lines across the tree.
• For trees that extend past your car’s bumpers, you must tie a reflective flag to the end so other drivers can stay alert.
6. Double check
• Before you leave the lot, make sure to give the tree a firm tug to ensure that it’s not going anywhere. If it wiggles even a little, the tree is not tied down tight enough. You will need to untie the tree and start again until the tree does not budge at all.
7. Take it slow and easy
• Once you get on the road, take it slow and put on your hazard lights. Avoid the highway, especially if you’re not used to hauling heavy objects on your car’s roof. Remember, roof cargo affects your vehicle’s center of gravity and emergency handling.