Caring for Your Christmas Tree
Once cut and taken home, Christmas trees must be properly maintained or they’ll quickly lose their luster and quality. Don’t be a Grinch, follow these simple steps from NC State Extension’s resident expert, Jeff Owen, to keep your Christmas tree merry and bright throughout the season!
7 Keys for Keeping a Fresh Christmas Tree
- Before setting up your tree, cut at least ½-inch off the trunk to help the tree take up water easier.
- Display the tree away from heat sources like air vents, fireplaces, wood stoves, radiators and sunny windows.
- Use lights that are in good working condition and UL certified. Unplug the lights when you leave the house or go to sleep.
- To best preserve your tree at home, plain water is best! Never add anything to the water.
- A tree stand that holds a gallon of water will keep your tree fresh throughout the holiday season — check it daily and keep it full.
- Dry trees can take a day or two before taking up water, and trees that were very cold may need some time to take up water again.
- Tree still not taking up water? If the tree isn’t decorated, you can put another fresh cut on the stump. If it is, you can try drilling a few holes in the trunk below the waterline.
- Christmas trees are perishable products and must be properly maintained or they’ll quickly lose their luster and quality – visit go.ncsu.edu/Christmas-Tree-Care for more expert tree care resources.