We know it’s that time of year, when millions of Americans will be hauling their Christmas trees home. Remember, there are better ways than tying it to your car like a prize buck. While picking the perfect tree is the fun part, the process of bringing it home can be dangerous if not done properly.

From Douglas Firs to Blue Spruce, there are a lot of choices for Christmas trees.

  “Drivers who do not safely secure their Christmas trees risk damaging their vehicle and littering the roadway with dangerous debris,” Mark Jenkins, Florida spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group told us.

Employees at tbe Big Box stores can make certain your tree is prepared for transport.

And that’s right! All we can think of is the Allstate commercial where the tree comes off the car and sends a second auto into a pole. But we have great news! The AAA has issued a list of do’s and don’ts on how best to transport your tree safely and not scratch the car!

Tree Transport Suggestions

  • Use the right vehicle. It’s best to transport a Christmas tree on top of a vehicle equipped with a roof rack. However, if you do not have a roof rack, use the bed of a pickup truck, or an SUV, van or minivan that can fit the tree inside with all doors closed.
  • Use quality tie downs. Bring strong rope or nylon ratchet straps to secure the tree to your vehicle’s roof rack. Avoid the lightweight twine offered by many tree lots.
  • Protect the tree. Have the tree wrapped in netting before loading it. If netting is unavailable, secure loose branches with rope or twine.
  • Protect your vehicle. Use an old blanket to prevent paint scratches and protect the vehicle finish.
  • Point the trunk towards the front. Always place the tree on a roof rack or in a pickup bed with the bottom of the trunk facing the front of the vehicle.
  • Tie it down. Secure the tree at its bottom, center and top. At the bottom, use fixed vehicle tie-down points and loop around the trunk above a lower branch, to prevent any side-to-side or front-to-rear movement. The center and top tie downs should be installed in a similar manner.
  • Give it the tug test. Before you leave the lot, give the tree several strong tugs from various directions to make sure it is secured in place and will not blow away.
  • Drive slowly and easily. Take the back roads, if possible. Higher speeds create significant airflow that can damage your Christmas tree and challenge even the best tie-down methods.
  • Removing the tree. Be careful not to damage the vehicle when cutting or removing straps used to secure the tree. Make sure the area around the vehicle is clear to avoid injuring a person or pet. Also make sure to remove any sap from the paint or upholstery immediately.
Here’s a pictograph from our local big box store.

Don’t Be a Statistic

The AAA has advised that millions of Americans don’t secure their trees properly during transport. We agree – we’ve seen a lot of them on the roads.

This lady had plenty of room for her Douglas Fir.

So whatever kind of tree you pick, be careful to make certain it is strapped down and secured well. Once you get it home, remember to continue to follow safety precautions. Keep it well watered and mind your lights. Have a Merry Christmas and remember to follow us on floridafuntravel.com.