With a beautiful weekend (for an Iowa December) in the works, you might be heading out to get your Christmas tree this weekend. If you are, here a few tips on how you can get it home safely. Now, while some of them SEEM like common sense, the folks at AAA say many of us will not follow them and could wind up damaging or totally wrecking their tree.

  • Choose the right vehicle. If you have multiple cars you can use, the best option is something with a roof rack. Other good choices are in the bed of a pickup truck  in an SUV, or in a van or minivan that can fit the tree inside with the doors closed.
  • Use quality tie downs. Bring strong rope or nylon ratchet straps to tie the tree to your roof if you're going that route. The twine at tree lots just isn't very strong.
  • Protect the tree, and your car. Have the tree wrapped in netting before loading it up if possible.  At the very least, secure loose branches with rope or twine.  Use an old blanket or plastic tarp to prevent paint scratches on your car. And remove any sap on the paint or upholstery after you get home.
  • Point the tree trunk towards the front. Always place the tree on a car roof with the bottom of the tree's trunk facing the front of the vehicle. Tie the tree down in three places:  bottom, center, and top.
  • Give it the tug test. Before you leave the lot, give the tree several strong tugs from different directions to make sure it's secured in place and won't blow away. Then drive home slowly, taking back roads instead of highways if possible.


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