How To Care For Your Christmas Tree

By: Public Information Office
By: Public Information Office

When a Christmas Tree is cut, more than half of it is water.  With proper care, you can maintain the quality of your tree during the entire Christmas Season.

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your fresh cut tree:

  1. Using a traditional reservoir type stand is the most effective way of maintaining the freshness and minimizing needle loss problems with your tree.

  2. Before placing your tree in the stand, make sure to cut about 1/2″ off the base of the trunk.  Do not cut the trunk at an angle or a v-shape as this makes it more difficult to put the tree in the stand and reduces the amount of water your tree can soak up.

  3. Place your tree in the stand as soon as possible after making the cut.  Some varieties can last 6 to 8 hours after making the cut and still take in water . Be careful to keep the fresh cut end clean.

  4. Trees may be temporarily stored in a cool location for a few days.  Put the fresh cut trunk in a bucket that is kept full of water.

  5. When you are ready to put your tree inside, keep in mind that your tree stand should hold 1 quart of water for every inch of diameter of your tree trunk.

  6. Make sure to use a stand that fits your tree.  Avoid whittling the sides of the trunk down down to fit your stand.  The outside layers of wood are the most efficient in taking up water and should not be removed.

  7. Keep your tree away from major sources of heat (fireplaces, heaters, heat vents, direct sunlight, etc.).  Lowering the room temperature will slow the drying process and reduce the amount of water your tree will soak up.

  8. The temperature of the water you put in your stand will not make a difference in how much water your tree will drink.

  9. Check the water level in the stand each day to make sure the water level does not go below the base of the tree.

  10. Drilling a hole in the bottom of the tree will not help the water intake.

  11. Using lights that produce low heat such as LED lights will reduce the drying of the tree.

  12. If you purchase your tree when it is very cold outside, keep in mind that taking the tree into your warm house can shock the tree and cause it to drop needles.  If the temperature difference is extremely large consider putting the tree in a garage or other enclosed space to warm it up before bringing it into the house.

  13. Remember to put a tree disposal bag down when you are setting up your tree so you can just lift it around the tree when you are ready to remove it at the end of the season.