The first step is looking for freshness. Going to a pick-and-cut tree farm or tree care services parking lot will guarantee you’re getting a fresh tree. But, buying from a big-box store or pop-up shop isn’t bad. If you aren’t sure how long the tree has been sitting around, you’ll need to cut off around a 1/2 inch of the stem before putting it in a stand.
This is due to the sap forming a protective layer around the cut on the trunk where it was sliced, stopping the ability of needles to receive critical water. A Fraser or Noble Fir is famous for retaining their needles and not shedding as much as pine or spruce trees. Fraser or Noble Firs make the perfect Christmas trees.
When keeping a Christmas tree healthy, a tree needs a stand with the right reservoir to stay hydrated throughout the season. You don’t want to jam the trunk of the tree into the wrong size tree stand or tear the base to make it fit. The stem has to stand completely erect and stay submerged in water. So, having the right tree stand is imperative.
The most critical step in keeping a Christmas tree healthy for weeks is putting the base and tree in a basin that holds no less than one gallon of water. Surprisingly, ordinary tap water is best.
Since you can’t damage a Christmas tree by overwatering it, it won’t hurt to check the water level in the reservoir every day while it is on display. If you’re traveling for the holiday, fill the reservoir until it’s full. Even if the tree drinks up all the water, it will rehydrate when you return home and give it more water.
Real vs. Fake
Some folks think that using a fake tree is better for the earth than having a live tree. You have to think about where the artificial tree came from, what was used to transport it, and the industrial material in the plastic used to make it. Though a fake tree can last a long time, eventually it will be in a landfill while a live tree usually gets turned into eco-friendly mulch.