Nearly half of the people transporting a Christmas tree this holiday season are going to do so using unsafe methods, according to a AAA survey. That’s around 40 million trees hanging on by hope and a prayer. And we trust those numbers, not just because another AAA survey found that the debris from Christmas trees caused more than 200,000 crashes, 39,000 injuries, and 500 deaths in a four-year period. But because we've witnessed them ourselves. Often. And since you’re a reader of The Drive, and your eyes are on this particular article, you’re already on track to getting home safely.
Follow these three steps and make the hero image your reality: get a 1967 Aston Martin DB6, restore the car using Aston Martin's Q Branch, and find a tree. If you can’t buy an Aston in time for Christmas but still want to transport your tree, I’ve got you covered. It doesn’t matter what kind of vehicle dawns your driveway because if a vintage Aston Martin can do this, so can your car. And you don’t need to be Bond to pull off this mission, as it's pretty straightforward. OK, he drove a DB5, but this is close enough for me.
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Transporting Your Christmas Tree Safety
Transporting a Christmas tree shouldn’t cause any serious injuries unless it comes flying off your roof. But splinters can be nasty and pine needles irritating, so here are a couple of things to protect you.
Everything You Need To Transport Your Christmas Tree
We haven’t been looking around your garage, so don’t know what you need to get the job done. Thankfully, the list is pretty short.
You don't need 007-style gadgets to get your tree home. But bring what’s outlined above, and things will go much better.
Here’s How To Transport Your Christmas Tree
Follow these steps if you want to get your DB6 and Christmas tree home intact.
1. Wrap Up Tight
If your Christmas tree comes pre-wrapped in a net, leave it on. This will help protect it and keep it in place while you’re on the move. If it doesn’t come pre-wrapped, shake off any loose pines and secure branches that are sticking out with twine. And don't forget to wrap your mitts in some work gloves.
2. Protect Your Paint
Next, place a protective blanket or tarp on your roof to protect your vehicle’s paint. This is absolutely necessary for anyone who doesn’t have a roof rack, as the tree could do a number on your vehicle’s paintwork. If you’re using a roof rack, the tree might not hold the blanket in place while driving. Either way, make sure the protective cover is secure before setting off, or take it off the roof.
3. Face The Right Way
Now it’s time to load your tree. At The Drive, we suggest placing the tree with the trunk facing toward the front of your vehicle. This should make a more aerodynamic shape and help keep the tree and your vehicle stable.
4. Tie it Down
Secure the tree at the bottom (trunk), center, and top with three ratchet straps or strong pieces of rope. Avoid using the lightweight twine offered by some tree sellers. It’s best to fasten your tie-downs around roof rails or a roof rack, so you have a fixed tie-down point. If you don’t have roof rails or a rack, loop your tie-downs over the tree and through the top of your vehicle’s door openings. Do not put your tie-downs through open windows. You should also be aware that there’s a chance you’ll damage your door seals if you close them on rope tie-downs.
When securing the tree's trunk, don’t just place the tie-down over it. Loop the tie-downs around the trunk, so it’s more securely fastened.
5. Tug Test
The tug test is a not-so-scientific way of checking whether your tree is securely fastened. Tug the tree from a few angles and make sure it doesn’t budge. It only takes a minute and could save you some hardship down the road.
6. Drive Slowly
Even if you’ve followed all the steps to the letter, there’s no need to put your rope or tree under any undue pressure. Avoid the interstate and traveling at high speeds if possible.
In the video below, you’ll see how to secure your tree to your vehicle using twine. But don’t forget to wrap it in a net before fastening it.
If you’re using a roof rack, the video below will show you how to tie your tree down securely.