How To Safely Tie Down A Christmas Tree

November 29, 2017

So, you've tracked down the perfect tree lot and hand-picked the best one you and your family. It's probably the best one yet in recent years, right? Giddy with excitement, you are ready to take it straight home and put it on display. Not so fast though; you need to make sure that it's properly secured to your vehicle.

xmas tree 2

Coming into the holiday season, AAA has issued a reminder to consumers about the importance of making sure that trees don't become a safety hazard for the other drivers on the road or cause damage to your own car.

Within the last 4 years, over 200,000 crashes have caused 39,000 injuries and 500 deaths due to improperly secured trees. Although that's only improperly secured trees, you also don't want to be that person who bit off more than their Toyota Prius can chew in the tree department.

Now that you've chosen an appropriately sized tree for both your home and your transportation method, what is the best way to haul your treasured tree away?

Here are 4 steps to ensure that your tree will make it to your home safely.

1. Use netting to keep your tree bundled. If the tree lot you purchased from does not carry netting, make sure the branches are bound together as much as possible to keep loose branches from flying off. We recommend bringing necessary items, like netting and strong rope or ratchet straps, so you're not stuck in a bind while you're there.

xmas tree

2. Orientation is key! Point the trunk towards the front of your vehicle to ensure proper balance while you cruise down the road.

3. Secure the tree at the top, middle and bottom with a good quality ratchet strap or rope. If possible, avoid using twine as a means of securing your tree. Twine can break if it comes into contact with a sharp surface and can loosen if it becomes untangled while on the roof. Give it a good tug test to verify that the tree is staying put.

4. Drive carefully and slowly. Take that top-secret back road to your house instead of the freeway. Highway speeds can loosen your hard work and cause your tree to jet off from your car – in the opposite direction! If you must use a highway or freeway, be sure to hang out in the right-most lane.

Enjoy the holiday season and your new tree!

About the Author

Kimberlea Buczeke is an automotive expert at RepairPal, the leading online source of auto repair resources and estimates. With many ASE Master certified mechanics on staff who have decades of experience, RepairPal knows all the fine points of car repair.

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