How to Strap A Christmas Tree To Your Car - Without Damage
It's that time of year to get into the holiday spirit and if you haven't already picked one up and decorated it, depending on which holidays you celebrate, you'll soon be heading out to bring home a Christmas tree of your very own. We know it may seem like common sense, but here are a few tips for transporting your tree home without causing damage to your car, other drivers or the tree itself!
1. Make sure you have a large tarp, sheet or blanket. This will not only help prevent scratches, sap and damage to your roof, it will help keep the tree secure. Don't rely on the tree farm to have extras handy. Bring your own.
2. Bring rope, bailing twine, nylon straps or bungie cords with you. Whether you have a roof rack or not, it doesn't matter, but having one to secure the tree to on the ride home will definitely make things easier. Bring extra. You will need more if you do not have a rack. The tree farm may have extra bailing twine to help secure it to your roof, but again, don't rely on their supplies. Come prepared.
3. When you pick out your tree be sure to stand it up and shake it out. This way you help to get rid of any insects, needles or branches that are loose or broken. It will keep them from flying off your car while driving. After shaking the tree out, the tree farm will usually wrap the tree in a netting to help keep the branches secure and make it easier for transport. If this is not available, use your blanket or tarp to wrap the tree up like a burrito as best as you can to keep it secure and to eliminate any contact with the tree branches and your impeccably flawless paint job.
4. Wear a pair of gloves to lift the tree up onto your roof. This will help you have a better handle on the tree and will help you to avoid getting scratched or poked, or getting tree sap on your hands and then car interior. Don't be a hero. If the tree is large, get help hoisting it up to the roof. Fumbling around with the tree will only cause you to scratch and dent your hood, roof and side panels.
5. When placing the tree on the roof always have the bottom of the tree facing the front of the car. The branches have a natural upward angle and it will prevent the wind from opening up the tree branches like an umbrella, blowing it off your roof or breaking branches off your tree. In very windy conditions, or just for additional safety, you may wish to anchor the base of the tree to the front of the car with an additional piece of twine or rope.
6. Loop your cords, twine or nylon roof straps around the tree as tight as you can and secure it to the roof as tight as you can. If your car does not have a roof rack, make sure the cords, twine, bungies or straps go through the car windows and door frames to make sure you get a very secure anchor to the car. Shake, pull/push and rock your tree... if it moves, make the bindings/ropes tighter.
7. If the tree extends past the end of your car, tie a flag to alert drivers to how far the tree reaches out.
8. DRIVE SLOW! High wind, movement or even abrupt stops can cause the tree to slide or jerk. The last thing you'd want is to have the tree come flying off your car, backwards or forwards and gliding into the car in front of or behind you. Your car insurance will not be in your favor if your Christmas tree becomes a battering ram or object of mass destruction. Drive slowly, and give yourself extra time to slow down and stop.