Ideas & Inspiration
How to Care for a Living Christmas Tree
A living Christmas tree brightens your home with color and fill it with a natural evergreen fragrance during the holidays. Take these precautions to ensure your holiday tree lasts through the Christmas season.
- Refresh. When the base of a fresh-cut Christmas tree dries out, the tree forms a protective layer of resin over the cut. If you’re buying a pre-cut tree, you’ll want to refresh the cut before you settle your tree in for the holidays. Saw off about an inch from the bottom before taking it indoors and locking it into place. It’s also an opportunity to level out the cut so that the tree stands straight in its stand. Use a hand saw or chainsaw. Either will do the job.
- Water. While you’re searching for your Christmas tree stand, place your tree in a bucket of water as soon as possible. That will allow the tree to draw in water more easily. At this point, you could even let it sit for a few hours to acclimate in a dry, transition area such as a garage, carport, porch, basement or mudroom before bringing it inside. On the first day in particular, your tree will need a great deal of water, so keep an eye on the bucket and refill it whenever the level gets low.
- Lay. Before placing your tree, lay down a plastic sheet underneath the location where it will go. This is an extra precaution in case water spills or leaks if you overwater your tree stand by accident.
- Set. Before you bring your fresh cut tree inside your home, place it in the Christmas tree stand. This definitely cuts down on any potential mess. To make sure your tree fits properly in the stand, you may need to grab a pair of pruners and trim off additional branches toward the bottom. Don’t forget to save any fresh cut branches for pretty garland.
- Place. Location matters when you’re trying to keep your tree fresh all season. If possible, avoid placing your Christmas tree near a fireplace, heater or heating vent. Exposure to those heat sources may dry out your tree sooner, even despite your efforts to keep it watered.
- Check. Once your tree is in place, check the water in the stand at least once a day. Add fresh water as needed. Continue until your tree stops absorbing water.
- Decorate. Now it’s time to decorate your holiday tree with Christmas ornaments and other holiday decor. The first thing you may consider is a Christmas tree skirt. It covers the base of the stand. It also helps keep away thirsty pets and small children from beneath the tree.
- Enjoy. A fresh cut Christmas tree With proper care, your tree can last throughout the season. When the inevitable happens and your tree dries out, it’s time to remove it from your home so it doesn’t become a fire hazard. Then, just follow proper recycling guidelines.