Have you ever woken up on a snowy Christmas morning only to find your tree brown and needles falling whenever you brush past it?
Your troubles have come to an end!
I have had my fair share of sad and dry Christmas trees. I tried many things until I found the perfect mix that will keep your trees green and festive all holiday season long.
Here they are!
Let’s get started!
#1 Don’t Put It Up Too Soon
I’ve started a new tradition in recent years – decorating my Christmas tree on Christmas Eve. That way, your tree will be green and ready to endure until the middle of January.
I know it sounds like a long time, but you can always start with foliage decorations for Christmas before putting up a tree.
But if you can’t wait that long, know that the cut tree can last for about 5 weeks indoors. That means you can start decorating it now and it will last until (and after) Christmas with proper care.
#2 Go To A Reliable Vendor
We already know by now that not all vendors have trees of the same quality. When getting a Christmas tree, you need to know how long ago it was cut, when it was transported, and how the retailer cared for them before the sale.
Choose a vendor with a high turnover and volume rate. If the tree has been sitting at the bottom of a truck for weeks before you purchase it, it could’ve been in your home as well.
I like to go to my local forester. I know he cuts the trees 1-2 days before the sale, so they’re really fresh.
If you don’t have anything like this in your area, check the state of the trees. Don’t choose a tree whose needles are already falling off. It will only go downhill from there.
You can even check your local nursery and home improvement stores if you’re out of options.
#3 Give It A Fresh Cut
This is the step that can make or break your Christmas tree. Every vendor that’s good at their job will give your tree a fresh cut before you take it home.
That’s because it only takes 4-8 hours for the cut to heal. Once that happens, your tree won’t be able to uptake water and will have a shorter lifespan.
The good news is that you can do this yourself if your retailer doesn’t do it for you. Cut 1/2-2 inches off the bottom of the trunk. Place your Christmas tree in water afterwards, and that’s it.
#4 Choose The Right Tree Stand
Many homeowners have a problem with choosing the right stand for their Christmas tree. In general, you should find one that fits the trunk perfectly.
If that’s not possible, go with the larger one. You can always fill in the gaps and stop your tree from tipping over. It’s much easier to do that than file the tree trunk down.
Pay attention to the trunk diameter, and you’ll have no issues finding the perfect stand.
Another thing you should bear in mind is finding a tree stand with a water reservoir. This will save you a lot of time when watering your Christmas tree. Make sure the tank is deep enough to hold at least a day’s worth of water.
That means it should be able to house at least a gallon of water.
#5 Water Is Key
The best way to tell how much water your Christmas tree needs is sizing its trunk. These trees need about 4 cups of water per inch in diameter.
Christmas trees are usually about 4 inches wide (although, there are larger ones), so a gallon of water is more than enough. If your stand can hold more, that will be less work for you.
You shouldn’t choose a stand that holds less water than your tree needs or you’ll be watering your Christmas tree all day long.
And whatever you do, don’t let your tree dry out. It will heal in 4-8 hours and you’ll have to make fresh cuts if you want it to last longer.
(I’m not even sure how you would do that with an already-decorated tree!)
#6 Keep Your Christmas Tree Away From Heat
If you want your Christmas tree to last as long as possible, keep it away from all heat sources. That means no radiators, heat vents, wood stoves, or fireplaces nearby.
I know what coziness crackling fireplaces and Christmas trees bring. But placing your tree near a hearth will not only dry it out, but also make it a fire hazard.
A parched Christmas tree can set fire fast!
Heat dries out trees faster, so you’ll have to water them more frequently. And even that is not a guarantee it will last until Christmas.
And if you want to take this to a whole new level, keep your tree in the coolest room of your home. It will reduce drying out even more.
P.S. I know botanical candles for Christmas sound amazing, but make sure to keep them away from your tree.
#7 Use LED Lights
A Christmas tree is nothing without lights. Yet, the regular ones can dry it out or even light it on fire if they get too hot.
That’s why I always opt for LED lights. They are much cooler and have little-to-no drying effect.
If you’re anything like me, then you leave your Christmas lights on all day long. This can be quite dangerous when using traditional lights or large bulbs.
But that’s why we have LEDs to keep our home safe during the festive season!
#8 Don’t Be A Stranger To A Light Timer
LED lights are not everyone’s cup of tea. If you prefer traditional Christmas lights, put them on a timer. This will reduce their drying effect and keep your home safe from fires.
Set the timer to turn off when you’re away from home. Your tree and home will thank you!
If you’re not as forgetful as I am, you can get away with a plug that has a remote control. The outlet behind the tree is impossible to get to (it seems an awful lot like a requirement, don’t you think?).
Get some lights with a remote control and one push of the button will turn them on and off.
#9 Mist, Mist, Mist
One final tip I have in store is misting. Like many other Christmas plants, trees benefit from occasional spraying.
Of course, this method is not for everyone. If you have delicate or homemade decorations, or ones that are a family heirloom, stay away from this method.
Turn on a humidifier, and you’ll get the same effect with no danger to your ornaments.
Keep your Christmas tree alive through the holidays by watering and keeping it away from heat sources.
Everything else is just an added bonus!