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Your Christmas tree is a work of art (if you do say so yourself). Too bad it starts to look a little worse for the wear come December 20. Here’s a trick for making it look fresher longer.

What you need: A living Christmas tree, a tree stand, plastic sheeting, a one-gallon container, water, chelated iron (available at a local nursery for about $8), corn syrup and liquid bleach.

What you do: Cut the plastic sheeting to fit under your tree skirt. (You don’t want to get bleach on the floor now, do you?) In the container, combine 2 tbsp chelated iron, 1 cup corn syrup, 8 cups of hot water and half a teaspoon of bleach. Place the tree in the stand and carefully pour in the mixture, making sure to get the raw edge wet.

How it works: Glucose in the corn syrup boosts the tree’s metabolism, chelated iron helps form chlorophyll and bleach kills harmful bacteria--all giving your tree about two extra weeks of life.

And what if you have kids or dogs who like to drink tree water? Maybe don’t do this trick.

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