ALBANY, GA (WALB) - With the drought affecting most of the South, experts warn many Christmas trees from farms from around the region could be dry before they were cut.
Firefighters are urging South Georgians to check their trees when they buy them, to make sure they will not soon become a fire danger.
Christmas tree sales are already underway at the Eames Christmas Tree lot in Albany.
Glenn Eames' family has been selling Christmas Trees for 53 years, and he made sure his trees were in good health when they arrived, because there is an extra week this year in the holidays.
"So it's really important for those who are buying it on Thanksgiving day to keep the trees watered. Because they have a whole extra week of the tree being up in their house," said Eames.
And if that tree was already dry before it was cut, there is a better chance it will dry out sooner.
Eames said it's easy to check your Christmas tree to see how fresh it is: Take a limb in your hand and pull the needles toward you.
"You could take and pull on them and get a handful of needles, that's going to be the first tell tale sign. Next one, if you start breaking your branches and they really snap. And sound like dry, they are dry," said Eames.
Firefighters said that is a tree you want to avoid taking home, because traditionally there are house fires caused by Christmas tree decorations.
"Anytime your are going to add lights to a tree, you always need to make sure that you check the strands. that there are no frayed wires. That everything is in good shape. And you also want to make sure you are using a strand that's been tested by Underwriters' Laboratory or one of the testing agencies to verify it's safe to use," said Albany Fire Department Battalion Chief Kelly Harcrow.
Experts say a Christmas tree needs the base to stay submerged in water once you put it up, because if the base dries out, it will seal itself.
"The key to it is to be consistent. Keep water in that vase, because it only takes four or five hours with no water in that tree stand, and it seals itself up," said Eames.
So firefighters urge South Georgians to check their trees before they buy them, and to keep them watered this holiday season.
Christmas Tree prices are increased for the first time in a decade because of a shortage, an average of $5 to $7 a tree.