How to Make Your Christmas Tree Last Longer

How to Make Your Christmas Tree Last Longer

For the past 10 years {maybe even longer?} we’ve used an artificial tree for Christmas, but this year the HH and The Girl protested so we chopped down a tree at a local tree farm.

I’ve got to admit, the smell of a real pine tree is amazing AND my arms aren’t all torn up from “fluffing” the fake tree {Does that happen to you? Something about the plastic they use to make the artificial trees disagrees with my skin!}.  Anyway, the point is, I love the real deal.

Now, I just have to remember how to make it last so that there aren’t more fallen needles under the tree than presents by Christmas Day.  If you are in the same boat, here’s a couple of quick tips to keep your Christmas tree from drying out before the big day:

  1. Start with a good cut.  If you chopped your tree down, make sure to take it home and give it a clean straight cut at the trunk.  It will help it absorb water better.
  2. Put it in water as soon as you get it home.  If you can’t get it into the tree stand immediately, then get a good sturdy bucket with water to hold it while you get the stand ready.
  3. Make sure to check the water level everyday.  They really suck up the water, so don’t be surprised if your watering your little beauty daily.  {Some people swear by putting a little sugar or aspirin in the water–the research I did had mixed reviews on that tip, though.}
  4. Finally, as quaint as it might be to keep the tree near the fireplace, where Santa will have quick access, it’s not ideal for the tree.  Heat sources dry out the tree much faster, so if possible, avoid putting the tree in direct sunlight, near fireplaces, heating vents or wood stoves.

The whole maintenance game is actually pretty basic.  As long as you follow a regular watering schedule and get it set up and in a good location, you will reap only the benefits of pine wafting through your holiday memories.

Happy Kick-Off to the Holidays!


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  1. Elise says

    We got ours today too, bought it in town though. The farms are a bit of a trek for us right now, but when I was little (in the same town) we did go cut one down every year. Maybe in a few years… Ours has drink almost an inch of water since we put it in the stand 5 hours ago!

    The girls (age 4 and 7) are done decorating (I’m almost done) and are admiring their handiwork (including window clings) through the window on the back deck :) It;s balmy here in the SF Bay Area this weekend!

    I LOVE this time of year, even with no snow here.

    Happy Holidays Mavis and to your whole clan.

  2. Elise says

    Jeez. I do have a tip… Was so excited to say HI!
    The best place for our tree is right where the heat register is. So I pop off the cover and put a piece of plastic wrap across the bottom of the cover then put it back in place. The heat on the plastic wrap has never been a problem (like melting or anything like that), and we can have our tree where _I_ want it, which is really the most important part…

  3. Leanna says

    I grew up with a real tree and my mom wouldn’t bring it in the house until we were out of school for Christmas break. She was worried it would dry out too fast and we only kept it up two weeks. When my hubby and I purchased our home we bought an artificial and now it is up from the Friday after Thanksgiving until Epiphany (the 12th day of Christmas) (January 6th). I just buy those candles that smell like a real tree.

    Have a great Advent season.

  4. Laura says

    Nothing about Christmas trees, but…

    Did you happen to see two of the items on Dave Barry’s 2013 Holiday Gift Guide? I thought of you when I read about the Chicken Brassiere and Chicken Diapers! Yes! Chicken Diapers so you can “…enjoy your birds in the house or car without worry!”

  5. Donna says

    To make sure our tree lasts longer, we only cut our own instead of buying pre-cut because you never know how long they have been cut!! Also, Years ago we learned from our cooperative extension office that the first time we put water on a cut tree we should use boiling water. I think they said it closes up the “pores” of the tree, or something like that, so it doesn’t need as much water as usual. We usually have our tree for about 4 weeks and I only water it about 2x a week, so that first watering with boiling water must work!

  6. gc says

    Here’s a tip I learned the hardway…Add a little gravel, nuts/bolts or something inside the bottom of the tree stand. The tree can sap (like glue) itself to the bottom of the bowl, unable to suck up water it will loose LOTS of needles. Some gravel will keep it from sealing to the bowl.

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