AAA Offers Tips and Recommendations for Christmas Tree Transportation

Photo Credit: AAA

BARNSTABLE – This year an estimated 84 million Americans will head to tree lots across the country in search of a Christmas tree.

While picking out the right tree may seem like the hard part, getting it home safely can often times be the bigger challenge.

A new survey from AAA found that 44 percent of Americans who plan to purchase a real Christmas tree this year will use unsafe methods when transporting it home, such as not using the roof rack or placing it in the bed of a pickup truck unsecured.  

If not properly secured, a tree can cause vehicle damage such as scratched paint, torn door seals, or distorted window frames.

The tree could also fly off or out of the vehicle and become a danger to other drivers.

AAA has offered these tips and recommendations for transporting Christmas trees:

  • Plan Ahead – Before heading out to purchase a real Christmas tree, make sure to bring strong rope or ratchet straps, an old blanket, gloves, and the right vehicle. A vehicle with a roof rack is ideal but a pickup truck, SUV, van or minivan can work just as well.

“I think the main thing is you want to do some advanced planning, I think we are all so excited when we head out to get our tree that we don’t always think about how we are going to transport it home,” said Massachusetts Spokesperson for AAA Mary Maguire.

  • Wrap & Cover It – Once you’ve found a tree, have the lot wrap it in netting before loading it onto a vehicle. Loose branches can also be secured with rope or twine to help protect the tree from damage.

“If you’re able to wrap it or get it wrapped in netting before loading it at the retailer that is a tremendous help,” continued Maguire.   

  • Trunk First – Place the tree on the roof rack or in the bed of the truck with the trunk facing the front of the car. If the vehicle does not have a roof rack and is large enough, place the tree inside.
  • Secure It – Tie down the tree at its bottom, center, and top using strong rope or nylon ratchet straps. Avoid using the nylon offered by many tree lots. Use fixed vehicle tie-down points and loop the rope or strap around the tree trunk above a branch to prevent any side-to-side or front-to-rear movement.
  • Nice & Easy – Drive slowly and take back road if possible. Higher speeds can create significant airflow that can damage your tree or challenge even the best tie-down methods.

Research from AAA found that road debris caused more than 200,000 crashes during a four-year-period, resulting in approximately 39,000 injuries and 500 deaths.

“It’s important to remember that when we’re on the road we always have to be mindful of the safety of other drivers and you don’t want you tree to come off your car because it could cause a crash and you could be injured or someone else could be injured,” said Maguire.

For more information on vehicle safety, visit

About Luke Leitner

Luke Leitner grew up in Watertown Massachusetts and now lives in West Yarmouth on the Cape. He has been a part of the news team in the News Center since the spring of 2019. He studied business communications at Western New England University.
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