After searching tree farms for hours, you now have the perfect Christmas tree. Now what can you do to keep it as fresh as possible for as long as possible. Here are five easy tips.



Here are five easy tips to keep your tree fresh and in tip top shape for as long as possible. According to Rick Dungey, Christmas tree expert with the National Christmas Tree Association, you have a good chance of maintaining the quality of your tree for three to four weeks, regardless of species.

Paul Morigi, Getty Images for Microsoft
Paul Morigi, Getty Images for Microsoft


According to, here are five easy tips to keeping your tree fresh longer in your home, your parents home, or anywhere.

Buy a fresh tree

To test for freshness, gently pull on the needles of the outer branches. If the needles come off easily or if the tree loses lots of green needles when it is tapped on the ground, move on. Also, avoid trees that are faded in color.

Give it a fresh cut

To re-prime the tree, cut off a half-inch slice from the base of the trunk. Cut straight across, never at an angle or in a V-shape, because doing so reduces the amount of water available to the tree. It also makes it harder for the tree stand to hold the tree. And no matter what you've heard, never drill a hole in the base of the trunk thinking it will help the tree draw up more water. I've done it and it didn't work either.

Select the right tree stand

A tree stand should hold a gallon of water, or about one quart per inch of diameter of the tree trunk. Never less. Once it dries out of water, your mission of trying to keep the tree fresh is over.

Make sure the stand fits your tree. Never "whittle the tree trunk to fit" a stand that is too-small to hold the tree.

Give it water

Most species of Christmas trees can go without water for as long as 6-8 hours after a fresh cut. Just make sure the surface remains clean and the cut end is not damaged by banging it against the ground. Once you get the tree home, keep it in a bucket filled with water and in a cool location until you bring it inside.

If your tree absorbs a lot of water one day, a little the next, and then absorbs more the next day, It's normal.

Keep it cool

Heat dries out trees, so keep your tree away from fireplaces, heat vents or even direct sunlight. You may want to go so far as to lower the temperature in the room or use a humidifier to keep the air moist.

After all of the tips above, this is where I blow it. Lights are okay for trees but use only lights that produce low heat, such as miniature lights. The lower the heat, the less the drying effect on the tree and the longer the needles will stay on.

Too late. Good luck keep your tree fresh this year and the cat away.

Merry Christmas.

If you would like to go home for Christmas this year, and check your parents tree, sign up below and good luck.

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