How Do You Keep A Christmas Tree Alive Longer? Answered!

“O Christmas Tree, O Christmas tree,How lovely are your branches!” Christmas is coming, and the biggest dilemma arises once more. What to buy; an artificial Christmas tree or a real one? We all want our tree to last fresh and healthy for the whole festive season. However, most of the time, most of us end up with a dry, brittle one before Christmas Eve. That’s the reason why we purchase fake ones.

someone holding a rocking horse ornament hung on a real Christmas tree

But, what if someone told you that you can keep your natural Christmas tree last longer? That you could keep it fresh and maintain its vibrant green colour on its needles till the holidays end. Interesting, right? To tell the truth, you can. And luckily, we’ve got you covered. We can tell you some DIY tips and tricks to help you keep your Christmas tree alive longer plus the pros of choosing a real one. Ready to find out? Let’s dive in!

Why choose a real Christmas tree

Each year you cope with whether to buy a real tree or an artificial one. The benefits of having a fake tree are somehow known. You can reuse it next year, and you don’t have to care for it in the years to come. It’s easy to decorate and customise, plus it’s believed to be an eco-friendly choice. Yet, is it? Why do people keep choosing real Christmas trees? What are the pros of having a real one for the holiday season? Here are some reasons to think of and help you decide what to choose:

1. Choosing a Christmas tree is a traditional, fun family activity

Decorating the tree for Christmas isn’t the only tradition. The festive season starts when you and your family visit a garden centre or a Christmas tree farm to choose the best and freshest tree. It’s an activity that the whole family will enjoy, from the youngest to the oldest member.

family choosing a Christmas tree

2. Festive smell and appearance

Christmas time has its own scents and looks. Cinnamon is probably the most common scent someone can smell at any house. Yet, the fragrance of a real tree will complement the ambience and keep the Christmas spirit alive. The smell of the fresh pine needles will add a magical touch to the whole festive atmosphere.

3. They’re environmentally friendly

Incredible, right? Everyone believes that a fake tree is a more eco-friendly choice than the real one. However, we can assure you that a live Christmas tree is also a green solution to have in your living space during the holiday season. First of all, all growers replace every tree cut with new ones every year. So, nothing alters the ecological balance. What’s more, they are biodegradable and reusable. After Christmas day, all trees decompose, and their nutrients return to nature.

How to keep a real Christmas tree alive longer

But, how can you make your Christmas tree last longer and stay fresh and green until New year’s day? Do you have to do something or just add the Christmas decorations and enjoy the delightful and festive atmosphere? The truth is that when you bring a tree home, there are some DIY things you can do for the proper care and help your real Christmas tree last longer. Let’s see what you can do to choose the best Christmas tree:

1. Choose a healthy, fresh Christmas tree

When it’s time to purchase your Christmas tree, you better go for the one that looks the freshest. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

A man choosing a Christmas tree

  • Get the greenest one with the least brown needles.
  • Choose the tree which is displayed in a shady spot.
  • Run a few branches through your hands. The needles should stay in position and not fall off.
  • Check the tree. Raise it a few centimetres from the ground and let the trunk fall onto the ground. If the tree is healthy and fresh, then few green needles should fall off. 

2. Trim the trunk

The second thing to keep in mind when you are still in the store is to ensure that the seller makes a fresh cut at the bottom of the trunk. The same applies to freshly cut flowers. Cut a bit the tree trunk to help it with water absorption. When you get back home, place the tree in a bucket of water and store it in an unheated room or area. Once you’re ready to bring it inside your living room, cut about 2.5cm off the bottom of the trunk and place it in a sturdy Christmas tree stand that can hold about or more than 4.5l of water. If you are worried about the stand and that it doesn’t pair with the rest of the festive decor, don’t. That’s why Christmas tree skirts are made for.

3. Water your Christmas tree

This is an essential step. Whether you have a cut tree, potted tree or a container-grown one, you have to water it. Once you put it up, you have to water it regularly to keep your Christmas tree fresh. If you don’t provide it with the right amount of water, it won’t absorb water, speeding up the drying process. Here’s a rule of thumb to bear in mind: For every 2.5cm of the trunk’s diameter, fill the strand with about a litre of water.

Many people believe that adding preservatives and additives in the Christmas tree’s water, like bleach, corn syrup, aspirin or sugar, can keep the Christmas tree fresh for longer. However, all these are unnecessary. Clean water is enough to maintain it in pristine condition. Just check the water level every day and make sure it’s above the base of the trunk

watering a real Christmas tree

4. Find the right position for your tree

Imagine now: Your Christmas tree next to the lit fireplace. What a beautiful scene! Unfortunately, it’s not so ideal for your tree. Any heat source, including direct sunlight, radiators, air ducts, stoves and Christmas lights, can rush the drying process. Therefore, choose a location away from heating vents and other sources. What’s more, if your home is susceptible to dryness, you should consider using a humidifier to add moisture to the room and keep your Christmas tree fresher.

5. Use led lights

The type of Christmas lights you choose to hang on your tree can affect how long it will last. Interesting, right? Led holiday lights emit less heat than the traditional ones, keeping your tree fresher. As a plus, they reduce fire hazards. These types of lights are inexpensive, energy-efficient, last longer and don’t burn out. Do you need more reasons to use these this year? 

6. Take it down before it dries out

Finally, take your Christmas decorations down and store them for the next year once the festive season is over. As for your tree, you have two options: You can either start a compost pile with it or turn it into mulch for your garden. Many communities pick up Christmas trees and grind them into mulch if you don’t have a backyard. Thus, when the Christmas season comes to an end, call your community and ask them to pick up yours as well.

A close up of a Christmas decoration hung on a real Christmas tree

Keep your live Christmas tree last longer and healthier this year with the above simple tips and tricks. Choose the freshest one on the roadside lot and water it regularly. Place it away from radiators and fireplaces and take it down before it dries out completely. Follow the above tips and decorate it with gingerbread and gnome ornaments and garlands with lights. We can promise you that your guests will be jealous of your green Christmas tree. But, even if you choose a fake Christmas tree, no worries. We got your back and we can help you make it look fuller.

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