How to Keep Your Christmas Tree Fresh

How to Keep Your Christmas Tree Fresh

christmas tree

It’s the merriest time of year and already those Christmas trees are gracing homes across the country! But we’re still weeks away from Christmas and often - you want that tree looking great right past the New Year celebrations!

Here are a few tips for keeping your tree - both fresh cut and containerized - looking as good as the day you bought them (and not a fire hazard) for the entire holiday season!

When You Bring Your Cut Christmas Tree Home


As soon as you get your cut fresh tree home, and before you bring it indoors -

1. While it is still outside, spray all needles with an anti-transpirant like Wilt Stop or Wilt Pruf, or even hairspray works great, to prevent the needles from drying out the day before you bring your tree inside.

2. Spraying the needles prevents them from losing moisture - and in turn, hold more moisture in the tree. Use a special spray for Fresh Cut Wreaths and Christmas Trees or an anti-desiccant spray that stops wilt.

Hairspray has been used in the past - but remember it is very flammable (like your tree)! So avoid using anything not recommended for plants and keep it for your hair instead!

3. Fill the tree stand reservoir with hot tap water and a little sugar to give the tree some energy. This way the water will cool off indoors while you are moving onto the next step. Put down a drop cloth to help make clean up easier.

Sometimes the use of energy drinks or soda have been added to the water, but often these drinks contain chemicals and artificial color that can adversely affect the trees longevity.

4.Back outside, make a fresh cut on the bottom of the trunk. Even if you only remove an inch or two, Trim the bottom to open a fresh connection between the water in the tree holder and the vascular system. Do this immediately before bringing the tree into your home. A nice straight, clean cut gets rid of any dried resin that may also keep water from being drawn up.

5. Bring in your tree and position it into the waiting reservoir.

6. Remember to check the water level daily from the start! You will be amazed at how much water some trees can take up!

real trees

  • The key here is to have water constantly available always touching the cut end of the trunk of the tree so it is always drawing water so be sure to always fill the reservoir with fresh water - ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT RIGHT AT THE START because that is when the plant will take up the most water. Get as much water into the plant as possible right from the start. 

7. Decorate and enjoy!

Picking The Healthiest Fresh Cut Christmas Tree:

  • Select a nice green tree with as few brown needles as possible. The branches should be pliable and barely any needles should fall off when you shake them. Needles shouldn’t rain down when shaking the tree either.
  • Avoid trees that have been sitting out in the full sun or exposed locations

Maintenance, Tips & Reminders


  • Any time the tree must wait before coming indoors, be sure to keep them out of freezing weather and the elements. Nor store them indoors without any moisture access or in areas in direct sun.
  • Fresh cut Christmas trees take up LOTS of water at the start so check frequently to prevent the reservoir drying up. This is very important! This is because they were probably dormant while growing outdoors and once in your warm home will begin to think it’s spring - which means time to grow. Plus, our homes are usually drier in the winters, so that moisture access is vital.
  • Check daily! Your tree may empty the reservoir daily, so keep topping off the water level as often as you can to keep the tree healthy right from the start.
  • As you are unwrapping the mesh outside, and adding your decorations inside - Look for puffy brown styrofoam-looking blobs on the limbs about the size of golf balls or smaller. They may be Praying Mantis eggs that sometimes hatch once the tree is in your nice warm home! Snip them off, stem and all, and place them outdoors in a protected location for free pest-control in the spring!
  • Cool rooms are best!

close up xmas treee

  • Keep a humidifier running to help further moisturize the air. This benefits your tree and you!
  • Keep your tree away from heat sources and heat vents, drafts, candles and open flames, and anything that can spark.
  • Using LED lights not only saves you energy, but they stay cool! This helps keep your tree fresh longer.
  • Check old lights and other electrical decorations on the tree for frayed or exposed wires that may spark and become fire hazards.
  • It doesn’t hurt to mist the trunk of the tree with fresh water whenever you can - as long as you won’t get any electrical cords or decorations wet.
  • As soon as the holidays are over, or your tree begins to dry out, it’s best to remove it and along with it any fire hazard.

Long Lasting Holiday Joy!

That’s it! No one wants to unwrap presents full of shed evergreen needles! So following a few tips and reminders will save you the heartache of seeing your tree needles falling off before the holiday goose is cooked!

Want a more lasting option? Try choosing a live Christmas tree here at Nature Hills Nursery! For gift sized and table-sized options, check out our Table Top Trees to further dress up your home décor this holiday season!

Happy Planting!

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