How to Keep a Christmas Tree From Drying Out


It’s halfway through December, and your Christmas tree is starting to look a little less “fresh.” Here are some quick and easy tips to keep your Christmas tree looking its’ best all month long!

On the off chance you haven’t bought your tree yet, when you buy a pre-cut tree, make sure it’s not dropping a ton of needles or turning brown before you buy it. If it is, it’s already got one foot out the door.

Cutting Edge

When you get home, re-cut the stem before you set your tree up. In order for the tree to get the most water to all the branches, re-cutting it before you place it in the stand will help it last longer and absorb more water through the trunk. Cut about half an inch off the bottom perpendicular to the stem access. This will allow the tree’s pores to absorb the water and the tree to stand up straight in the stand.

Standing Still

Place it in a sturdy stand that fits your tree, and avoid whittling the sides of the trunk down to fit a stand. The outer layers of wood are the most efficient in absorbing that much-needed water and should not be removed. The tree stand should also hold at least one gallon of water (a freshly-cut tree can consume a gallon of water in 24 hours!). Keep the bottom two inches of the tree’s trunk in water, even if that means refilling the stand every day. With many stands, there can still be water in the bottom of the stand even though the base of the tree is no longer submerged in water. Too little water causes resin to form over the cut end of the trunk, and once that happens, the tree will absorbing water and will dry out pretty quickly.

Heat Factor

Although the image of a Christmas tree next to the cozy fireplace with hung stockings seems like a great idea, it’s not. You’ll want to place it away from heat sources, including fireplaces, windows with direct sunlight, radiators, and air ducts which could contribute to drying out your tree more quickly. Christmas trees prefer cooler temperatures, so turn down the heat whenever possible. If possible use smaller, miniature lights to decorate your tree. They emit less heat which helps keep the tree from drying.

The Finale

With good care, a Christmas tree can easily stay fresh for a month or even longer. When the holidays are finished and you are ready to toss out your tree, remove the branches and use them as mulch in your yard. You’ll have a little bit of holiday spirit in your yard all year round! If you have no need for mulch in your yard, most cities now have programs that collect Christmas trees and turn them into mulch for other sources.