Asked on Jan 02, 2016

How can I get the white back in my white Christmas tree?

by Gloria
I bought a white Christmas tree a couple years ago and when I went to remove it from the box to set it up for Christmas, it had yellow spots all over. Any hope in getting the yellow spots off. It has the lights already on it. Any help out there???
  12 answers
  • Pat Miller Pat Miller on Jan 03, 2016
    no answer to whiten the tree but could spray paint with white or another pastel color... may try using a water and whitening agent mixture and spray it.... sorry..
  • Samuel Tami Thompson Samuel Tami Thompson on Jan 03, 2016
    I work at walmart. I have worked there for ten years in Lawn and Garden and seasonal. I am a horticulturist and take care of the live goods. I also assemble and display all seasonal including Christmas trees. I have noticed years ago that the white trees will "yellow" after a small time. I have noticed they actually come in this way at times. Right out of the box it looks like someone chain smoked in a room with them? It appears oxidation occurs and turns the white to yellow or even a dirty tan. I am not sure of the exact cause but it is a problem. I discourage this purchase. I tried spraying bleach on a few limbs outside on the store patio. It seemed to help but dripped "dirty water". This particular tree was NOT prelit. I discourage spraying the tree with anything that could get into the wiring. It will always short the tree out. You have to remember that even though lights are not hot, they do get somewhat warm and spray paint will give off a chemical odor while the tree is on. These trees can be fire hazards if not assembled correctly as it is. I assemble about 100 trees a year between work and a business that my husband and I own. I myself had a white tree that I purchased at 75 percent off. This is the only purchase I recommend because you get only a few years (if that long) of use before the oxidation starts to turn the tree yellowey.It is not such the loss at 75 percent off. I feel sorry about this because white trees can be so beautiful. I can also report one should stay away from from trees with "snow" already on them.This "snow' is actually called flocking. You can also buy it in a can and spray it on a tree. This also turns yellow. Flocking also oxidizes and turns color. I have found it to be the same for preflocked trees or any tree you spray it on. I only recommend it for live trees as they will be discarded soon after use. Also note the flocking "snow" makes it harder for a live cut tree to breathe as it is a form of adhesive. It cuts short the amount of time the cut tree can live becoming a fire hazard. The tree dies and gets brittle, and now you have sprayed a chemical on it that clearly states on the can "flammable". The tree has live electricity on it. What can go wrong here? I am never ceasing to be amazed at what people do and they dont think about how stupid and dangerous it can be. It is an incredible thing to see a beautiful Christmas tree suddenly catch fire and I have seen this! You could attempt to decorate the tree and see how well you can cover the spotting. It may be ok after it is decorated. Just know if you can get it decorated and its not too noticeable, it will only be a matter of time before it completely turns color. You could try the paint theory from the person above, but with no lights. That kinda kills the idea for me. I think trees should have lights and be shiny. I hope this helps. I am sorry I couldnt offer you better news.
    • See 1 previous
    • Megan Megan on Dec 05, 2018

      Vinegar and water 1:3 solution in a spray bottle on ONLY the flocked tips and leave in the sun for 12 hours.

      Samuel is 100% correct: DO NOT SPRAY PAINT YOUR TREE!🌲 It”s a huge fire hazard and would be toxic to any curious furbabies! Thank you for all that great info Samuel!

      I would then spot treat any obvious areas leftover with canned flocking as he suggests.

      Good luck and have a very Merry Christmas! ✝️🌟🕎🤶🏻🎅🏻🎁 ☃️❄️

  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Jan 03, 2016
    I do not know if this will help but worth a try.
    • See 4 previous
    • MN Mom MN Mom on Jan 03, 2016
  • Wallie Simmons Wallie Simmons on Jan 03, 2016
    Just spray paint it. We did it numerous times.
  • MN Mom MN Mom on Jan 03, 2016
    Hi Gloria Artificial trees often oxidize or discolor for a variety of reasons. I have a silver tinsel tree that is tarnished...go figure! If your white tree has yellowish spots, is it possible those spots were caused by use of metal ornament hangars? Just a possibility of oxidation. You didn't say it was mold so I wouldn't try and treat it for that. If it were me, I'd add more decorations or possibly fill in and wrap the affected areas with white garland next year. Cheers!
  • Gail@Purple Hues and Me Gail@Purple Hues and Me on Jan 03, 2016
    Yes, the same thing happened to me - not just the trees but also with the white Christmas sprays and garland. I love using white trees and garland - they go so well with purple, so like Samuel says, it happens and the only thing you can do is buy them at reduced prices and cover up the yellow spots. I bought alpine trees from Hobby Lobby and one had a few yellow spots on it and the other one didn't, so I turned the tree around so you couldn't see the discolorations. I bought a very expensive white tree 15+ years ago and it's still pure white with no yellowing. So I think the material used to make them has a lot to do with the discolorations. Each year I buy white garland, wreaths and sprays from Michaels and sure enough, the next year, discolorations show up, so I trim out the bad spots and add on new ones. I was able to get them really cheap this year but I can't keep doing this. I think I will try chalk paint on the discolorations next time.
  • AmericanWoman AmericanWoman on Jan 03, 2016
    I would suggest the white spray paint also.
  • Gloria Gloria on Jan 03, 2016
    I would like to "thank" those who replied to my problem with the White Christmas having yellow spots. It has too many large spots that are yellow to cover up. Thanks everyone!
  • Jeani Miller Miner Jeani Miller Miner on Jan 05, 2016
    You may be able to cover the spots with 'flocking'. Basically paint with texture added. The fact that it's pre-lit is of course a big issue. If you're determined to keep it, cover the bulbs with tape and spray away. Big job!
  • Wee15400314 Wee15400314 on Jan 14, 2017

    I have tried painting too.

  • Wee15400314 Wee15400314 on Jan 14, 2017

    But it will still yellow AGAIN. Next time I am thinking of trying a bath in OXY_CLEAN........what do you think. I Want another White tree again!!!!

  • Emily Emily on Dec 11, 2019

    What if there is no sun to put the tree in what should I do?