Christmas Tree Mold - What You Need to Know About It

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What to do about mold in your natural or artificial Christmas tree.

How come I always seem to get a cold around Christmas! It could be your Christmas Tree, not COVID-19!

There could be mold in your Christmas tree

You’ve masked, you’re vaccinated, you’ve stayed away from crowded settings, and you’ve tested negative for COVID-19, but you are still feeling sick. Coughing, sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose - it could be your Christmas Tree! Christmas tree mold can cause respiratory illness. Even artificial trees can have mold on them.

Respiratory illnesses and Christmas tree mold

Respiratory illnesses historically spike one week before and one week after Christmas. There can be other factors, but it could be due to your Christmas tree if it happens year after year. Studies have shown that live Christmas Trees can cause mold and pollen to infiltrate your house during the holiday season.

A study, which was presented at The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Annual Scientific Meeting in Dallas in 2007, examined the relationship between mold growth on live Christmas trees and poor indoor air quality. Researchers found that Christmas Trees are covered in pollen and mold spores. Once brought inside, the mold on the tree increased from 800 spores per cubic meter to 5,000 spores per cubic meter after 14 days. This increase is most likely due to the warm, humid environment in homes.

Artificial Christmas trees and mold

Artificial Christmas Trees can also cause problems if stored in dusty, unventilated attics and basements. They can collect dust and mold spores, and once brought out for the holidays, dust and mold will be released into your main living space and can cause similar problems to live trees. If you have an artificial tree, make sure you store it properly and clean it off before setting it up each year.

Other holiday factors and mold

Other holiday factors can increase your symptoms besides Christmas Trees: sensitivity to foods, artificial snow or flocking used on windows or trees, scented candles, cleaning products, indoor fires, stress, and sensitivity to visiting family’s pets brought into your home.

How to control mold during the holidays

What can you do to minimize the effects of your Christmas Tree and holiday activity on your health?

  • If you must have a live tree, keep it in your home for a week or two at most.
  • Clean off both live and artificial trees before bringing them into the house. A good shaking of both a natural and artificial tree will get a lot of the debris off. A 1:1 vinegar-water solution will help remove some pollen, mold spores, and debris from a live tree. If you are particularly sensitive to mold, consider spraying your tree with an anti-fungal disinfectant such as BactroKill.
  • Run an air purifier in the same room as the tree to remove any tree-based pollen and mold from the air
  • Wipe down your ornaments and lights each year before storing them and store them in plastic bins rather than cardboard boxes that can harbor mold.
  • If you still have respiratory problems after you put everything away, have your home treated by a disinfecting service such as Bactronix of Colorado to destroy any remaining pollen, mold, bacteria, viruses, and odors left behind by your Christmas Tree and guests!


Need Help? Contact Us.

Contact us for any air quality questions at or 720.212.9466. We provide mold testing and inspection services, mold remediation, indoor air quality testing, disinfecting, and odor control services.

Trust Bactronix of Colorado to take care of your disinfecting and mold remediation. Call us today to schedule an assessment!


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