Christmas Tree Care Instructions

Did you know that when a Christmas tree is cut, more than half of its weight is actually water? In order to maintain the quality of your tree proper care is essential. Here are several tips on how to properly care for your Christmas tree:

    1. Christmas Tree TagBe sure your Christmas Tree stand has a good reservoir for water. This helps to maintain freshness and avoids needle loss problems. As a general rule, stands should provide 1 quart of water per inch of stem diameter.
    2. Before you put your tree in its stand, make a fresh cut to remove about a 1/2 inch thick slice of wood from the base. Be sure to keep the cut perpendicular to the stem, don’t cut it at an angle, and definitely avoid a v-shape. This fresh cut helps the tree to absorb water from the reservoir better.
    3. Placing the tree in water as soon as possible should be priority #1 once you’ve gotten home and have properly prepared the trunk by cutting it down 1/2 an inch.
    4. If for some reason you’re unable to properly prepare the tree immediately, you can store the tree in a cool location as long as the trunk is in a bucket full of water. Be sure to ask your tree farmer if the type of tree you have can handle this sort of delay and for how long.
    5. When selecting a tree stand, be sure to use one that fits your tree. Since the outer layers of wood are the best at absorbing water, look for a stand that doesn’t require you to cut away outside pieces of the trunk in order to achieve a good fit. You want to keep as much of the outer later of bark in tact as possible.
    6. When placing the tree in your home, choose a place away from heat sources such as vents, fireplaces, portable heaters, and direct sunlight. Keeping the room temperature lower will also slow the drying process which in turn lowers the amount of water the tree will need each day.
    7. No need to worry about the temperature of the water for filling the stand as it does not affect water uptake at all.
    8. Always check the stand’s water level daily! The water line should never go below the base of the tree which is possible in most stands since many are designed that way.
    9. Do not drill a hole in the base of hte trunk as it does nothing to improve water intake.
    10. Use lights designed for Christmas trees because they produce low heat. This in turn helps to slow the drying process.
    11. Before placing light strands on the tree, be sure to inspect them for worn wires, loose bulbs, and other signs of wear and tear that could increase your risk of fire.
    12. Never overload electrical circuits!
    13. It’s always a good idea to turn off and unplug your Christmas tree lights when you leave the house and when you go to bed.
    14. Monitor the tree closely for signs of drying. Do the needles fall out easily? Do they feel dry to the touch? Dry trees are dangerous and should be removed from the house.
    15. Never burn a Christmas tree in a wood stove or fireplace!


It’s time to get even more informed about how to care for your Christmas tree.  Be sure to read our Christmas tree care myths section as well!