One of the perks of buying an artificial tree is that you don't have to buy a new one each year and you don't have to worry about it dying. On the other hand - getting a live tree each year has its own magic...and you can't beat the smell of fresh pine! So if you decide to go with a real tree - how do you keep it green all season? There are a few simple things to do to keep that tree looking great until Santa shows up.

  • First off - if you are buying one and not cutting it down yourself - don't wait to buy it. You may think that if you wait until closer to Christmas that it will last longer...but you're wrong. Buy it now and get it into water asap! The longer the tree sits on the lot the worse off it will be.
  • Next -  when you go to the lot make sure the tree you get isn't already on its way out. You can give it a little shake or tap the trunk on the ground and depending on how many needles fall of you can tell if it is already drying out.
  • It is best to buy from a lot that has the trees in shade (direct sunlight is only speeding up the drying process) or keeps them watered.
  • When you get the tree home cut off at least 1/4 inch from the base to open it up to more easily soak up the water.
  • Probably the most important step is to make sure there is always water in the stand! Add warm water and it will help your tree stay hydrated. DON"T add anything to the water! research shows that it doesn't help (even Viagra won't perk up your tree...yes people have tried it).
  • Two big things you can do at home to help preserve the tree is to turn down the heat a bit in your house and don't put the tree by a window that gets a lot of direct sunlight.

The University Of Idaho website has more info to help you keep your Christmas tree looking beautiful all season long.