The Mythbusters Answer The Age-Old Christmas Tree Question

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The latest Mythbusters holiday episode tackled, among other things, the question of how to keep a Christmas tree from dropping as many needles. In true Mythbusters style, Kari Byron, Grant Imahara and Tory Belleci created special apparatus to catch and measure the needle droppage from a number of trees using various preparations from myths to see what worked the best.

They tried a number of strange things added to the reservoir for the trees including bleach, crushed Viagra (Santa’s little helper), an aspirin, fertilizer and just plain water. They also tried treating the tree foliage by spraying it with hair spray and another with a heavy coat of polyurethane. Here were the results:

  • The fertilizer was the worst, causing the most needle dropping.
  • The bleach and Santa’s little helper lost the least amount of needles but turned the tree a funky color.
  • The hair spray kept the most needles on and the tree stayed a nice color, but they caution not to try it because it’s a fire hazard to add hair spray to a dry Christmas tree.

If you want to see their experiment with the trees, tune in for their holiday special this week. There’s also going to be a marathon of viewers’ choice of episodes on Christmas Day. Be sure to go to the Discovery.com site to vote for your favorites.

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