Christmas Tree Care: Keeping it Ever Green for the Holidays

Christmas tree care tipsAdd up the time spent shopping for a Christmas tree, untangling and installing lights, and hanging precious ornaments and you quickly realize you have quite an investment sitting in your living room. This single evergreen is the center of social attention and the subject of many family photos, so why not make sure that it stays green and safe until the New Year. By following a few Christmas tree care tips it’s really not that hard to pull off.

Bringing the Tree Home

After the drive home, make sure to get the tree into water as soon as possible. If the tree was pre-cut or it has been longer than an hour, saw an inch off the base of the trunk so the tree can take up water. The rule of thumb is that a cut tree needs one quart of water per inch of trunk diameter.

Cut evergreen trees do not absorb any water through the foliage, so it's not necessary to spray or mist a tree while it waits to be moved inside. Keep it outside in a sheltered location, like a porch or unheated garage, and don’t allow it to be exposed to freezing temperatures.

Enjoying a Fresh-cut Tree Inside

Once the tree is inside, make sure that the stand can hold a gallon or two of water and be sure to check the level every day. A fresh-cut tree will drink a substantial amount of water in the very first week, but it may take a day or two for it to start to do so. After that, it is not unusual for a tree to drink lots of water one day and very little the next. Check that the end of the trunk is always submerged below the water line in the stand and top it off if not.

cut live christmas tree

The key to a good looking indoor Christmas tree is lots of water -- and only water. The following cut Christmas Tree care methods do not offer any additional advantages despite popular lore:

  • Drilling a hole in the base of the trunk.
  • Adding aspirin, sugar, honey, molasses, bleach, floral or tree preservatives, or soft drinks to the water. Save the sweet stuff for baking cookies and quenching the thirst of Holiday revelers!
  • Adding water holding gels to the water.
  • Spraying the tree with commercial "anti-transpirants" to decrease moisture loss.

Christmas Tree Safety

Proper care and enough water are the best ways to reduce the fire hazards associated with Christmas trees. Spraying a tree with fire retardant may actually damage needles and contribute to moisture loss.

Check the dryness of your tree every day by running your fingers along the needles. If the needles seem brittle or break off in your hand, it is time to remove the tree from the house. Normally, a tree will remain fresh for three to four weeks. Using a room humidifier may help.

live christmas tree safety

Here are some additional Christmas tree safety tips:

  • Position the tree away from hot air ducts, radiators, or fireplaces.
  • Never place candles or other open flames near the tree!
  • Use only UL-approved lights. Newer LED lights produce less heat than older style lights.
  • Turn off tree lights before leaving the house or retiring for the night.
  • Make sure that fire extinguishers and smoke detectors are in good working order. 

There's nothing quite like the appearance and scent of a fresh-cut Christmas tree during the Holiday season. Of course, there's a lot to be said for artificial trees, wreaths and garlands. The tremendous quality and variety of modern Holiday artificials make them our choice for commercial Holiday Decor installations. Whichever approach you choose, make it extra special by applying your own unique style and touches for a very memorable Holiday for you and your loved ones!

Back to Blog List