How to prolong the life of your Christmas tree

Abies nordmanniana or Nordmann fir tree from Thompson & Morgan

Ensure your cut Christmas tree remain looking fresh throughout the festive season
Image: Abies nordmanniana from Thompson & Morgan

Keeping a cut Christmas tree looking fresh over the festive season is key to having lovely display for several weeks and not having to worry about copious needles on the carpet.

How to keep cut Christmas trees looking fresh

Person watering Christmas tree

There are three things to remember when prolonging the life of your Christmas tree: water, water and water!
Image: Shutterstock

Ensuring that the base of the tree is permanently in water is the single most important thing you have to do - never, ever let it dry out as this will immediately cause the needles to become brittle and then they will, of course, start to decorate your carpet rather than your tree!

If your tree has been cut for more than 12 hours (this is most likely going to be the case) then cutting just a ┬╝ of an inch off of the base is all you will need to do to ensure that fresh "wood" is able to absorb the water, make it a clean, square cut, not angled or pointed.

Cut Christmas trees do's and don'ts

Christmas tree covered with baubles

Cut Christmas trees are fairly easy to maintain, if you know how!
Image: Shutterstock

Christmas tree maintenance: Do's

  • Do make sure there is enough water in the tree holder - allow 2 pints per inch of base - probably a lot more than you think.
  • Do check the water regularly - the tree will absorb lots of water in the first week
  • Do check the needles - if they feel dry or brittle then the water has probably run out
  • Do be careful with the water if you have electrical plugs nearby!

Christmas tree maintenance: Dont's

  • Don't whittle the base down to fit the stand - most of the water is absorbed through the outer layers.
  • Don't add anything to the water, it really won’t make that much difference.
  • Don't drill holes in the trunk, it won’t really help and will actually interrupt the flow of capilliary vessels.
  • Don't keep your tree near sources of heat - it’s not going to help at all.

A cut tree, if looked after well, should last at least a month indoors and if you follow the above guidelines, yours should too! For more advice on Christmas tree maintenance, visit our conifers hub page - full of advice and articles on how to grow and care for conifers.

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