How to Keep a Live Christmas Tree Fresh

  • Two little kids help pick out their Christmas tree as snow gently falls.
It’s impossible to keep a tree fresh if you don’t start with a fresh tree. Your best bet is to cut your own tree. The National Christmas Tree Association offers this Real Christmas Tree Locator on its website to help you find a farm near you.

If that’s not an option, there are a few things you can do to test for freshness. Grab a branch with your fingers and pull it toward you. If you end up with a fist full of needles, move on. You can also pick a tree a few inches off the ground and drop it. If a bunch of exterior needles fall off, the tree is past its prime. (It’s normal for the tree to lose interior needles when you do this.)

Lastly, crush a few needles in your hand and smell them. The scent of pine should be strong.

Preserving a Christmas Tree

Now that you’ve got your tree, you’ve got to take care of it. Make sure it’s wrapped in netting for the ride home so that the wind doesn’t dry it out.

Unless you cut your tree yourself, you’ll want to make sure that its able to suck up all the water it needs to stay fresh. To make sure it can, take your saw and simply cut off a thin disc from the bottom of the trunk.

One word of caution: The bark on the sides of the trunk should never be removed as it contains a special layer of cells that transports water. If your tree doesn’t fit in your stand, you’ll need a bigger stand.

You’ll also want to pick a good spot for your tree. Keep it away from heat vents and fireplaces and try to keep it out of direct sunlight.

Finally, make sure your lights are in good working order and don’t string more lights together than is advised by the manufacturer. Lights should be unplugged at night and when you leave the house.

Best Way to Water a Christmas Tree

Water your tree as soon as you set it up in the stand. There’s no need to add anything to the water. Straight out of the tap is fine.

Some people think that drilling holes in the trunk of the tree or cutting the stem at an angle will improve water uptake, but that’s not true, according to The National Christmas Tree Association.

Your tree will “drink” the most the first few days. Check it at least twice a day for the first week. After that, you should be fine watering it once a day.

Consider Self Storage

One of the best things about a real Christmas tree is that you don’t have to store it. But you do have to find space for your ornaments, lights, and other pieces of holiday cheer.

If you find that your closets are overflowing, consider renting a self storage unit. At StorageMart, we offer clean, well-lit storage units in a variety of sizes—all of which can be rented on a month-to-month basis. Check out our storage unit size guide or rent a unit online today.

It’s nice to deck your house out for the holidays, but it’s also nice to have an organized and tidy home. StorageMart can help you accomplish both.

About Sarah Little

Sarah Little, Marketing Director at StorageMart, holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration. She serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors for the Central Missouri Foster Care & Adoption Association, a non-profit group dedicated to improving the lives of children.

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