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Can Christmas Trees Cause Mold Growth?


The Christmas season is officially here, and if you’re like countless other homeowners around the country, you’re probably already putting up the tree and getting ready to decorate. However, while Christmas trees are a source of joy and an essential tradition in many families’ holiday celebrations, they can also cause a serious hazard for your property: mold growth.

The Link Between Christmas Trees & Mold

According to a study from the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, the connection between mold and Christmas trees stemmed from an observation that asthma and sinus complaints seem to rise during the holiday season. Because mold is common in outdoor areas with a lot of foliage, it was hypothesized that Christmas trees could cause mold growth, too. The results researchers found when they put this theory to the test were staggering.

Over the course of two weeks, the ACAAI measured mold counts in the same room as a live Christmas tree, located 10 feet from a heating vent. The indoor temperature between these two weeks was set between 65 and 68 degrees. During the first three days of the study, researchers found that mold counts continued to be steady at roughly 800 spores per cubic meter of air. However, these numbers quickly began to rise, totaling approximately 5,000 spores per cubic meter by the final day of the study, when the tree was taken down.

While the average home has a count of 500-700 mold spores per cubic meter of air, higher levels of mold spores in the air indicate a likelihood of mold growth somewhere on your property. But why would a Christmas tree be a source of mold? In addition to the fact that indoor and outdoor plants almost always increase the chance of mold, Christmas trees in particular require a lot of water to survive. And because mold thrives on moisture, the more you water that beautiful Christmas tree, the more you may also be encouraging mold growth. It’s also worth pointing out that many Christmas trees are often cut down in advance of the Christmas holidays, and stored in damp moist areas to keep them alive—meaning that in some cases, your tree may be a breeding ground for mold before you even get it.

How to Stop Mold from Growing Around Your Christmas Tree

If you or someone in your family suffers from allergies, asthma, or other respiratory issues, you may want to consider ditching the Christmas tree altogether. However, before you get rid of such a beloved part of the holiday season, there are a few options that may help ensure mold doesn’t affect your family’s health and well-being.

For one thing, you should try to place your Christmas tree as far away as possible from heating vents. Unfortunately, the ACAAI study found that even at 10 feet away, mold can still grow in the presence of your Christmas tree. However, if you can reduce the combination of moisture and humidity in your home, either through adjusting your thermostat or moving your tree, it can go a long way to helping your family breathe a little easier. You should also try to avoid over-watering your tree, as this will not only improve the tree’s health, but will also cut down on the number of mold spores in your air. Finally, you can always consider buying a fake tree, if you are concerned that the presence of mold will interfere with your ability to enjoy the holiday season.

Remember, if you do have mold on your property, you can always call our North Port restoration pros for mold remediation. At FP Property Restoration, we are proud to provide mold inspection and testing for homes and businesses alike. And with 24/7 emergency service, we’ll always be there to make sure your family enjoys a safe, mold-free Christmas.

Dial (888) 595-1105 for scheduling or click here to request an appointment online. And in the meantime, Happy Holidays from our team FP Property Restoration!

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