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How To Keep a Cut Christmas Tree Fresh


Some people believe Christmas just isn't Christmas without a real Christmas tree. Here is an easily printable guide that will help you preserve that perfect tree whether you purchase it from a neighborhood lot or a Christmas tree farm. These steps should help you keep a Christmas tree fresh through the holiday season.

Difficulty: Average

Time Required: 14 Days

Here's How:

  1. Refresh the tree by making a straight cut, taking one inch off the butt and immediately place in water. This will improve water uptake (See Tip 1).
  2. Place the tree in a stand that can hold at least 1 gallon of water. You should expect the tree to take up additional water. Water the new tree until water uptake stops.
  3. Always keep the base of a tree in water. If the base dries out, resin will form over the cut end and the tree will not be able to absorb water and will dry out quickly. You don't need anything other than regular tap water - drying out deters future water uptake and will need a new cut. Commercially prepared mixes like aspirin, sugar and other additives introduce into the water are not necessary. Research has shown that plain water will keep a tree fresh.
  4. Check for worn Christmas tree light electrical cords and always unplug at night. Use UL approved electrical decorations and cords. Using miniature lights produce less heat and reduce the drying effect on the tree or any chance of fire.
  5. Take down the tree before it dries out. Many fresh cut trees if properly cared for (using the first four steps) should last at least five weeks before drying out. Some species keep their moisture longer that others.


  1. Cutting a refresh "cookie" off the tree base is important only when trees have been cut for over 4 hours. If you let your stand water go dry for 4 hours, a new cookie cutting is necessary but impossible to do.
  2. For easier watering, buy a funnel and a 3 to 4 foot tube. Slip the tube over the funnel outlet, extend tubing down into the tree stand and water without bending over or disturbing the tree skirt. Hide this system in an out-of-the-way part of the tree.

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