Decorating for the holidays is a memorable holiday experience. We decorate as a family, and we choose a Christmas tree as a family. Here are our best tips for maintaining a live Christmas tree through the holiday season. This post contains Amazon affiliate links which, when purchased through, add no cost to the consumer but provide a small commission to this site.
Are you team faux tree or live tree? A few years ago, we began a tradition of heading up to the mountains to pick out a live tree. It is now one of our most beloved Christmas traditions. While my husband and I began our marriage as a faux tree family, we are now live tree enthusiasts! Our state ranks high in the Christmas tree industry, and it is not hard to find a beloved frasier fir to adorn our home for the holidays.
Our faux-tree friends and family members often ask us how we help our Christmas tree last throughout the entire season. For anyone who has never owned a real tree, this can be a significant obstacle into making the jump from faux to live. Over the years, we’ve learned a few tips for helping a live Christmas tree until well after the New Year.
Check Out These Tips for Maintaining a Live Christmas Tree
- Purchase from a reputable farm. We purchase from the same Christmas tree farm every year because we have such excellent luck with the trees that they product. Even if you do not live near a farm, you can still purchase from a Christmas tree lot that brings trees from a top-notch farm. I’ve heard horror stories from friends who have purchased from Christmas tree lots that had bad reviews. One friend’s tree lost its needles in the span of a few days! Set your live tree experience up for success and ask around to find a Christmas tree farm or lot that consistently has great trees.
- Choose a tree that has little to no brown needles. Move branches out of the way and look specifically for brown needles in the interior of the tree. After this, rustle the bottom branches and make sure that minimal needles fall off.
- Once you’ve brought the tree home, cut at least an inch off the bottom, no matter how neatly the trunk was cut at the farm or lot.
- Check the water level of the tree daily. The tree will absorb a LOT of water the first few days. For this time period, the tree will need to be watered daily. Afterwards, check the water daily and add water anytime the water level has started to decrease. Do not add sugar or anything else to the water.
- Keep the tree away from the heat vent or gas logs. Heat will make the tree dry out quicker. Do not place it next to the heat register or gas logs. If so inclined, a cooler temperature in the room will help, too!
I hope these tips help keep your Christmas tree fresh.
If you’d like a little elf to remind you to check the water level, we used this Evergreen Elf for the first year until checking the tree became habit.
If you’d like to get more usage out of your live Christmas tree, see this article on Making Swags with Christmas Tree Trimmings.