VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Author's Note: The above video is on file from Nov. 29, 2021.
If you're planning to buy a real Christmas tree this year, there are some simple tips you should keep in mind before bringing it home.
The American Automobile Association (AAA) of the Tidewater region wants to remind people of how to safely transport a Christmas tree on a vehicle this holiday season.
“It is important for you to be prepared before you go to cut down your Christmas tree,” said Holly Dalby, the AAA Tidewater director of public affairs. “Taking time to make sure that your tree is properly secured to your vehicle can ensure that you do not damage your own vehicle or someone else’s.”
AAA said transporting trees is no different from moving furniture or other large appliances. It needs to be secured so that it doesn't fly off the vehicles, which could be dangerous for other people on the road.
Here are the tips on carrying Christmas trees from AAA:
- Consider planning ahead by bringing rope, straps and other materials to pack the tree onto the vehicle (ideally on an SUV or pickup truck).
- Once you've picked your tree, wrap it up and cover it with some sort of safe netting material before loading it onto the vehicle. Tie down the loose branches with rope.
- Make sure the tree is either placed on the vehicle's roof rack or in the truck with the tree trunk facing towards the front of the vehicle.
- Secure the tree by tying it down from the bottom to the top with strong rope or nylon ratchet straps.
- Always make sure you have done the tug test. Tug on the tree several times to ensure that it is secured and not loose.
- Last but not least, drive slow and use the back roads if possible. Driving fast can cause the wind to damage the tree.
For more information on how to have a safe holiday, you can visit the AAA website.