CARS.COM — Oh, Christmas tree, how lovely are thy branches! And we wanna help you keep 'em that way as your tannenbaum is in transit — while minimizing the risk of damage to your car ... or someone else's. To help you avoid a holiday disaster of Griswold-ian proportions, heed these Christmas-tree transportation tips. Yule thank us later.
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Select the Right Size
We know it's tempting to try for the world's largest Christmas tree, but you need to make sure this thing's gonna fit in your vehicle's cargo area or on its roof. Also, be sure you have enough rope or bungee cords to properly secure the tree to the roof rack or cargo hooks.
Never Work Without a Net
Having your tree netted at the lot will make it less unwieldy and can reduce wind damage to the tree's needles.
Protect Your Car's Paint
If you're taking the roof route, place a tarp or blanket between the tree and the roof to protect against scratches. The same goes for the inside if your tree fits in the cargo area; this will also spare you having to pick up those loose needles later.
The Trunk Goes in Front
Resist the urge to point the treetop in the direction of travel. You want the base of the tree pointing forward so that the wind flows around the branches, as opposed to going against the grain. Center the tree on the roof to minimize the effect on your car's center of gravity.
Make It Tight
Wrap your rope or bungee around the tree first, then loop it through the roof racks. You can pull the rope through your car's windows, but we recommend against it. Before driving away, give your tree a good tug to make sure you've secured it sufficiently. If it moves, pull that rope a little tighter.
Take It Easy
Drive slowly and avoid highways. This will limit wind damage as well as the threat of the tree coming loose. If the tree seller offers to deliver, take 'em up on it — they deal with hundreds of trees a year, while you probably deal with just this one. You could avoid all this hassle and just get a fake tree from the store. But, c'mon ... where's the fun in that?
Watch the video here and be sure to catch it Saturday morning on TV. Check for local airtimes here.