Rob Lowe is ‘Obsessed’ With Watering His Christmas Tree With 7UP — But Should You?
PEOPLE asked the National Christmas Tree Association to weigh in on the holiday hack
During an appearance on an episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the Holiday in the Wild star, 55, admitted to feeding his festive fir the same sticky-sweet concoction every year: half water and half 7UP soda.
During the episode, Lowe sat down to catch up with DeGeneres while his son John, 24, was backstage, poised to comment on — and troll — his dad during the interview. The conversation soon turned to Christmas, and Rob told DeGeneres that the holiday season is his time to shine around the house — especially when it comes to taking care of the family Christmas tree.
“I have an obsession. You know me — I’m not really involved in the house, I live in the house, I love the house, but that’s [my wife] Sheryl‘s domain,” Rob says. “But when it comes to the Christmas tree, I am all over it. I’m obsessed with it drying out too soon.”
John agrees, joking: “It’s the only thing he’s ever done around the house.”
“He’s right about this,” Rob admits. “I have a phobia about the pine needles, they get all brittle and fall and then they’re just going to be flammable.”
That’s when the actor shared his recipe for a strong and healthy tree: “It’s half 7UP, half water. I am obsessed with this. This is all I care about during the holidays.”
But does the hack really work? And is it good for your tree?
PEOPLE reached out to Tim O’Connor, the Executive Director of the National Christmas Tree Association, to find out the organization’s official stance on the soda and water combo, and whether or not there’s any benefit to letting your Christmas tree drink it up.
“We hear about all kinds of things people do to their trees,” O’Connor tells PEOPLE. “We recommend just water — what the tree used while it was growing — but if something has been working for someone, we are not against it.”
While they don’t tout 7UP as a miracle elixir, the NCTA does have a few tips and tricks for keeping your tree in peak condition this holiday season.
“The most important things to keep a real tree is choose a fresh one when you purchase it; touch it and look at it to avoid the few that have problems during their trip from the farm,” O’Connor says. “Be sure you get a fresh cut on the trunk removing the bottom inch to open up the veins to drink and get it in water right away, it will close off with sap if it is left out of water for more than 2 to 3 hours.”
He continues: “Do not let the new cut on the trunk go dry, it needs to remain under water during the whole time it is in your home. Treat it like a fresh cut flower in a vase. If you follow those tips your tree will drink a lot of water in the first week to 10 days and be good for the whole season.”
If you’ve been procrastinating picking up your tree, we recommend getting on it sooner than later. The U.S. is facing a tree shortage, and has been for the past several years, according to the NCTA.
The cause of the shortage can be traced back to the Great Recession the country endured nearly ten years ago. During the economic downturn, tree farmers were limiting their crops to save money during a time of decreased demand.
Christmas trees can take about ten years to reach their full height of 7 to 8 feet, so the effects are now being felt.