Christmas Flower Care Holidays

Live Christmas Tree Care Tips to Keep Your Tree Fresh

live christmas tree next to presents on a table in a modern living room

While there’s nothing as heartwarming as gathering around a real Christmas tree with loved ones, these Hallmark moments can be ruined by brown trees and dropping needles. The good news is that proper Christmas tree care can keep your home filled with cheer for weeks to come.

We’re going to cover how to choose a healthy tree and help it thrive until Santa appears. That way Christmas cheer can keep blooming throughout the holiday season.

Choose a Healthy Tree

Christmas tree care begins before you bring your tree home. Just like you want to pick out fresh holiday flowers, you want to make sure your tree is in tip-top shape.

Time it Right

Even if you’re itching to hang the stockings and bake a few batches of Christmas cookies, be careful of buying a tree too early. Most fresh trees can last up to five weeks, so if you purchase a tree around Thanksgiving it should last until Christmas. However, if you want to be on the safe side, bring your tree home the first or second week of December.

Can’t wait to bring fresh greenery into your home? Enjoy some mini Christmas trees until their bigger cousin arrives.

Selecting a Pre-Cut Tree

If you’re picking out a tree from a garden center or tree lot, you’ll probably have access to multiple types of Christmas trees. Even if you had your mind set on a Fraser fir or blue spruce, make sure to take a look at all the options. If a tree looks a bit brown and is dropping needles, it isn’t the best choice. Use this as an opportunity to try out a new type of tree!

Another thing to look for is where the trees are stored. Since stores move hundreds or even thousands of trees, they don’t take the time to place the trees in water. While this isn’t a problem, it does mean you should take the time to choose trees stored in cool, dark areas rather than in warm, sunny areas.

Visiting a Tree Farm

If you live in an area that has Christmas tree farms, don’t miss out on the opportunity to choose and cut your own tree! There’s nothing quite like gathering your friends and family to wander through hundreds of Christmas trees (with hot cocoa in hand, of course).

Plus, you’ll know exactly where and how your tree was grown. If you’re thinking this sounds a lot like farm-fresh flowers for Christmas from The Bouqs Co., you’re right!

Even if you don’t want to bring a tree home until mid-December, some tree farms will allow you to tag a tree ahead of time. By marking a tree as yours, you can return at the ideal time to cut down the tree of your dreams (even if that’s a Charlie Brown Christmas tree).

While everyone prefers different styles and shapes of trees, all shoppers should look for a green and healthy-looking tree. Since live trees are drinking up water from the ground you don’t have to worry much about them drying out, but trees can develop diseases and pest problems.

Settling In

You may not know this, but trees can get stressed too! When it comes time to bring a real Christmas tree into your home, it’s not always as easy as plopping it into a stand and calling it good. In many cases, you should give your newest tree some time to adapt to the sudden climate change.
These trees are used to colder temperatures, so throwing them into a warm house causes a fair bit of stress. The shock cause them to turn dry and start losing more of their foliage – yikes!

An easy way to help your live tree adjust is to put it in a cooler area of your home for a few days – maybe your garage or even your basement. When you think your greenery is ready to venture into the great indoors, recut the tree stump by one or two inches to help it absorb water more readily.

And remember: keep your true greens away from radiators, fireplaces, stoves, or anywhere else that emits a lot of heat! If you’d like to help your tree last as long as possible, consider turning down the heat at night. The cooler the area, the longer your tree will last. Pro tip: this will also prolong the life of your gorgeous winter flowers.

Drink Up

It doesn’t come as a surprise that water goes a long way for your live tree, but you also have to be careful with how you hydrate it.

Trim the Trunk

Before you fill your treestand with water, take a look at the trunk. If you purchased a pre-cut tree, there’s a good chance it’s been sitting out of water for a few days or even multiple weeks. Even if the tree looks perfectly fine, sap and resin may have sealed the tree’s trunk, preventing it from drinking water.

With that in mind, you should give your tree’s trunk a fresh trim when you bring it home. Aim to take about one inch off the bottom of the trunk. Don’t have a saw? Many tree yards and nurseries will be happy to trim the trunk before you take your tree home. Just ask.

Keep It Watered

First and foremost: the stand should always be filled with water. Make it a habit of checking your tree every day and refreshing the stand. If you’re new to fresh-cut trees, you might be surprised at just how much water these trees drink; six-foot trees can drink between a quart and gallon of water each day!

If you made an oops and left your tree without water for a few days, don’t worry. Just add more water and let your tree rehydrate.
With that said, make sure to check the water level each day. If your tree doesn’t seem to be drinking much water, dried sap may have sealed the stump. If this happens, your tree can’t drink up more water. If you think this is the case, you can always cut an inch off of the bottom of the trunk so your tree can drink up.

Handle with Care

There’s no denying that decorating a tree is the best part of bringing one into your living space, but you have to be careful when it comes to the trinkets you hang on your live Christmas tree! It’s easy for small children and pets to knock over some ornaments or get tangled up in the string lights.

If you want to avoid any potential mishaps, we recommend hanging ornaments in the deeper parts of the tree or even higher up so they’re more of a reach. Wrap your tree with lights that don’t emit much heat – any UL-approved lighting is typically safe. Also, stay away from artificial snow sprays. They can cause some lung irritation if inhaled, and they can potentially damage the foliage.


While we wish real Christmas trees would last through the winter, all good things must come to an end. With the proper care, your tree can last up to five weeks. But after this point, it’s time to say goodbye to your seasonal friend.

If you’re thinking your tree looks fine and you could squeak out a few more weeks of lights, ornaments, and cheer, don’t do it. If you remove your tree when it’s already brown and drying you’ll be sweeping up hundreds of prickly needles for weeks on end.

Do your best to avoid placing your tree in the trash. Many towns and cities have special Christmas tree collection programs that compost trees. Another option is to place the tree in a wooded area as a shelter for birds and other wildlife.

A Fresh Tree and Farm-Fresh Flowers

While the weather outside might be dreary, fresh greens and flowers will deck the halls with festive cheer…as long as you provide the proper care. Remember to select farm-fresh trees and flowers, provide lots of water, and keep your plants away from high heat. By following these simple steps, Christmas cheer will keep blooming for weeks to come.

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