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Christmas tree that wasn't safely tied falls off the roof of a blue Volkswagen car
Tips, Tricks & Trends

How to Tie a Christmas Tree on a Car Without It Flying off and Hitting Someone

Getting a Christmas tree is a joyous tradition during the holiday season. However, this endeavor can be fraught with danger when you drive home with the tree. Learn how to safely tie a Christmas tree to a car without it falling off and creating a Christmas disaster.

A Christmas tree is a cherished holiday tradition. Many of us have positive memories of searching for the perfect Christmas tree with our family and then decorating it with lights and ornaments. However, there is one part of the process that can be a challenge: transporting the Christmas tree back home. Learn how to safely tie a Christmas tree to a car without it flying off and hitting someone.

Christmas tree preparation and supplies 

Christmas tree that wasn't safely tied falls off the roof of a blue Volkswagen car
Christmas tree falls off a car | Carsten Rehder/picture alliance via Getty Images

Before you set off on your Christmas tree-buying adventure, gather some supplies. This includes rope or ratchet straps for tying the tree, gloves to protect your hands, a flag to put on the back of the tree, a blanket or tarp to protect your car, and appropriate clothing and footwear, as detailed by

While this seems obvious, make sure to buy a Christmas tree that can safely fit on the roof or in the cargo area of your car. It’s easy to get carried away and get a massive Christmas tree, but you need to be realistic and practical for your tree purchase. After you buy the tree, get it wrapped with netting to secure it and prevent needles from falling off during the car ride home. Also, grab that flag that you brought and tie it to the end of the tree. If the tree hangs off the rear section of your car, a flag enables other drivers to see the tree more clearly.

Safely and securely tie a Christmas tree to a car

Put on your gloves and get ready to tie the Christmas tree to your car. To protect your car from scratches, place the tarp or blanket on the roof (or in the cargo area if you store the tree in the cabin or the trunk). Be sure to place the Christmas tree on your car with the trunk end facing forward. It will stay in place more securely and not be blown apart as much by the wind.

Tie the Christmas tree to your car as securely as possible using rope or ratchet straps. If you have a roof rack, loop the rope around the tree several times and tie it to the roof rack. If you don’t have a roof rack, you can roll down the windows and then loop the rope through the cabin of your car and over the tree several times. The most important thing is to tie the tree tightly. You don’t want to have a Christmas disaster and see the Christmas tree go flying through the windshield of another car. 

Drive home with a Christmas tree


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Drive very carefully and slowly when transporting your Christmas tree back home. With the tree either on the roof or in the trunk or cargo area, the weight distribution of your car will be slightly off, making it harder to drive. Also, try to avoid driving over any potholes.

Once you’re back home, remove the Christmas tree from your car as soon as possible. Christmas trees often have a great deal of sap that can damage your car. If tree sap gets stuck on your car, you can remove it with rubbing alcohol or tar remover. Also, if the tree was inside your car, use a vacuum cleaner to clean up the pine needles and other debris.

Now you know how to safely tie a Christmas tree to your car. Have a happy and safe holiday season!