Tips for Choosing and Maintaining Your Christmas Tree: Selecting the Perfect Tree and Taking Care of It to Last the Entire Holiday Season


Choosing and caring for a real Christmas tree can be a festive and enjoyable tradition for many families. But with so many options available, it can be overwhelming to find the perfect tree. Fortunately, experts like Carolyn, a treehugger, have some tips to help you make the right selection and keep your tree looking fresh throughout the holiday season.

The first step in finding the perfect Christmas tree is to visit a local farm or store that sells fresh trees. Locally sourced trees are fresher and have a better chance of lasting longer in your home. When selecting a tree, give it a little shake to see if any needles fall off. If only a few fall, it’s a good sign that the tree is fresh. Also, be sure to ask the seller about the history of the tree and how long it has been since it was cut. The fresher the tree, the longer it will last.

After bringing the tree home, make sure to give it a fresh cut before placing it in a stand. This will help the tree absorb water more efficiently and prevent it from drying out too quickly. Keep the tree away from heat sources like heaters and fireplaces, as this can also lead to dryness. To monitor the water level, use a tree stand with a water reservoir and check it daily. A rule of thumb is to add 1 quart of water for every inch of trunk diameter.

If you get a potted or balled tree, which has its roots attached, it’s important to acclimate it to the indoors gradually. Start by placing the tree in a cool location, like a garage or porch, for a few days before bringing it inside. This will help the tree adjust to the warmer temperatures inside your home. You can also wrap the root ball with burlap to keep it moist during the transition.

Once your Christmas tree is in place, it’s time to decorate and enjoy the holidays. Remember to keep the tree hydrated throughout the season by regularly checking the water level and adding more as needed. Also, be mindful of the tree’s location. Avoid placing it near drafty windows or doors, as cold air can cause the tree to dry out more quickly.

With these tips, you can ensure that your Christmas tree stays attractive and green for the entire holiday season. So go ahead, start the festivities and create lasting memories with your family and loved ones, all while keeping your Christmas tree looking its best.

Care tips

When selecting a white cut Christmas tree, it’s important to follow these care tips to ensure it stays healthy and attractive throughout the holiday season.

  • Check the freshness of the tree by gently pulling a branch. If it’s fresh, the needles should stay intact. Treehugger suggests doing a “bounce test” as well, where you gently bounce the tree on its trunk to see if the needles fall off.
  • Keep the tree in a cool and dry place before bringing it indoors. Dryness is the main enemy of a cut Christmas tree, so it’s important to avoid exposing it to direct sunlight or any heat sources.
  • Remove about half an inch from the base of the trunk before placing the tree in water. This helps the tree absorb water more effectively and allows it to stay hydrated for longer.
  • Place the tree in a sturdy tree stand that can hold enough water. It’s recommended to use a stand that can hold at least one gallon of water for every inch of the trunk’s diameter.
  • Use warm water to fill the stand’s reservoir and check the water level regularly. Keeping the water level consistent is crucial for the tree’s hydration and longevity.
  • Add a tree preservative or sugar to the water. There are specific products available in stores that can help extend the freshness of the tree, or you can make your own by dissolving sugar in warm water.
  • Avoid placing the tree near heat sources such as radiators, fireplaces, or heaters. This can cause the tree to dry out faster and increase the risk of fire.
  • Monitor the tree for dryness and browness regularly. If you notice the needles turning brown or falling off easily, it’s a sign that the tree is becoming dry and should be removed from the home.
  • If you prefer a living tree that can be planted after Christmas, select a balled or potted tree. These trees are usually more expensive, but they can be a great option if you have the space and time to take care of them.
  • When the holiday season is over, properly dispose of your Christmas tree. Many communities have recycling programs or collection sites where you can drop off your tree for mulch or proper disposal.

Following these care tips will help you maintain a fresh and healthy tree throughout the holiday season, and ensure that you can enjoy the beauty of your Christmas tree for longer.

If you get a tree with the roots attached either in a pot or burlap follow these suggested tree care tips

If you decide to get a tree with the roots still attached, whether it’s in a pot or wrapped in burlap, there are some important care guidelines to keep in mind. Choosing a tree from a local farm is always a good idea, as it ensures that the tree has been freshly cut and is more likely to survive when transplanted.

When selecting a tree, make sure to pick one that is healthy and green, with no signs of wilting or damage. Check to see if the tree has any bugs or pests that could potentially harm your family or other plants. Once you have chosen the perfect tree, it’s time to move onto caring for it.

First, it’s important to prepare the planting site before bringing the tree indoors. Dig a hole in the ground that is slightly larger than the root ball of the tree. If you’re planning on keeping the tree in a pot, make sure the pot has drainage holes to prevent water-logging.

Before planting the tree, water the root ball thoroughly. This will ensure that the tree has enough moisture to survive while it adjusts to its new environment. Once the tree is in its designated spot, water it regularly, making sure the soil is evenly moist but not saturated.

Keep in mind that trees with roots attached will require additional care compared to cut trees. Check the root ball every day to ensure it is still properly hydrated. Water the tree as needed, especially on drier days or when temperatures are warm.

It’s important to note that not all trees are suitable for planting after being used as a Christmas tree. Many popular Christmas tree varieties, such as Douglas-firs and Balsams, do not have a high survival rate when transplanted. If you decide to keep the tree for planting after the holiday season, consult with a local expert to determine if your tree species can successfully grow in your area.

When it’s time to take down the tree, carefully remove any ornaments or decorations and gently lift the tree out of its stand. If the tree has been in a pot, you can simply return it to its original location. If the roots are wrapped in burlap, you can either plant the tree directly in the ground or remove the burlap before planting.

Remember to always avoid placing the tree near heat sources, such as fireplaces or heaters, as this can cause the tree to dry out quickly and become a fire hazard. Rotate the tree regularly to ensure even sunlight exposure and water it as needed to keep the soil moist.

By following these care tips, you can enjoy a beautiful, healthy tree throughout the holiday season and potentially even plant it in your yard for years to come.

Tips for Selection and Care of Cut Christmas Trees

When selecting a cut Christmas tree for your home, it’s important to consider both the care required to keep it looking beautiful and the factors that can affect its longevity. By following these tips, you can ensure that your Christmas tree remains fresh and vibrant throughout the holiday season.

Tip Description
1 Choose a tree with fresh, bright green needles. Avoid ones that are dry or have brown spots, as this indicates a lack of moisture and potential tree health issues.
2 Before bringing the tree inside, make a fresh cut to the bottom of the trunk. This will help the tree absorb water and prevent drying out.
3 Monitor the water level in the tree stand and always keep it filled. A cut Christmas tree can drink up to a gallon of water or more every day, especially during the first few days after being brought indoors.
4 If possible, choose a tree that still has its roots attached or opt for a potted Christmas tree. This allows you to plant the tree after the holidays and enjoy it year-round. If planting is not an option, you can still acclimate the tree to the outdoors by placing it in a sheltered area for a few days before bringing it inside.
5 Clean the tree’s root system before planting by gently removing any excess soil and pruning any damaged or broken roots. This will ensure proper growth and establishment in its new location.
6 Store the tree in a cool, dry place before bringing it indoors. This will help prevent drying out and keep the tree fresher for longer.
7 When decorating your Christmas tree, avoid using heat sources, such as lights or candles, that can dry out the tree and increase the risk of fire.
8 Regularly check the tree for dryness. If the needles are falling off easily and the branches are brittle, it’s time to remove the tree from your home to prevent any potential fire hazards.
9 To help maintain the tree’s moisture, you can use a commercial tree preservative or make your own by mixing water with suggested additives like sugar or aspirin. This can prolong the life of the tree and keep it looking fresh.
10 Consider the type of tree you want to purchase. Some popular options include Scotch pine, balsam fir, and spruce. Do some research on the different characteristics and care requirements of each type to ensure you select the one that best suits your needs.
11 Check with local sources for the freshest and best-quality Christmas trees. Local tree farms or nurseries often have a history of providing high-quality trees that have been properly cared for.

By following these tips and taking proper care of your cut Christmas tree, you’ll be able to enjoy a beautiful and vibrant tree throughout the holiday season and create lasting memories with your loved ones.

✿ Read More: Gardening Tips and Advice.

Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.