How to Keep a Christmas Tree Alive During the Holiday Season: Christmas Tree Tips

Below are tips and tricks for maintaining a living Christmas tree.

By: Laura Plack and Rebecca Gonner, Editors,
How to Keep a Christmas Tree Alive During the Holiday Season

An evergreen tree with ornaments nestled into its branches and lights twinkling like a host of fireflies made their home among the needles is a staple decoration to celebrate Christmas; but, achieving that picturesque scene in your home takes some work if you want a live tree. Let this How to Keep a Christmas Tree Alive During the Holiday Season collection guide you through the steps to help your evergreen thrive for the month or so that it is a guest in your home.

Imagine all the great DIY tree toppers you can make to decorate your tree—so long as the tree stays healthy. You can even string some upcycled Christmas lights around it—if you aren’t busy worrying whether it will burst into flames. You can’t worry about how to decorate your Christmas tree unless you’re sure it will survive until Christmas.

Have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year when you follow the suggestions in this collection to have a healthy Christmas tree. These tips will help you pick the perfect tree and care for it once you get it home. You can have the live Christmas tree you always dreamed of; and these tips and tricks will help to keep it alive through the holiday. 

Picking a Tree: How to Pick Out a Christmas Tree

The first and most improtant step is to start by picking a tree that is healthy. Test how fresh a tree is before you pay for it:

  1. Run your hand over the needles; if they start falling off immediately that's a bad sign.
  2. Bend some of the outer branches, they should be able to bend without snapping.
  3. Make sure you measure! You want to be able to adorn the top of your Christmas tree with an adorable tree topper or Christmas angel. Pro tip: Measure your space before you go to pick out your tree. 
  4. If your tree passes these basic tests, then you can take it home.

Beaded Star DIY Tree Topper

Protect Your Tree: How to Protect a Christmas Tree

Ways to protect your Christmas Tree

  1. Try your best to protect your cut tree from the elements in the time before you get it set up in its permanent home.
  2. Be sure it gets wrapped up for the drive home to protect it from the wind. Not wrapping it will dry out your tree before you even get it home.
  3. If you plan to store it at home before putting it up officially, then keep it in a garage or shed to keep it out of the wind and sun.
  4. When choosing where to place the tree permanently, consider its surroundings. Don't place it near a heat source or anywhere that there are fluxuations in temperature, like near a door to outside.

Christmas Tree DIY Rope Basket

Cut the Trunk: First Steps to Putting Up a Christmas Tree

Why do you need to cut the trunk of a Christmas tree?

  1. Cut the bottom off the trunk when you get your tree home. This is similar to how you should clip flower stems before placing them in a vase.
  2. Sap builds up at the bottom of the cut trunk, which keeps the tree from absorbing water.
  3. If you aren't putting the tree in its stand immediately, put it in a large bucket of water to keep it hydrated.

No Sew Tree Skirt Tutorial

Get a Large Tree Stand: How to Get Your Christmas Tree to Stand Up

Why do you need a Christmas tree stand?

  1. Be sure your tree stand is big enough to hold the amount of water your tree will need.
  2. Your tree will probably absorb about a gallon of water in the first 24 hours, so keep an eye on it.
  3. Proper watering is the second most important step after picking a healthy tree.
  4. If your tree doesn't seem to be absorbing water over a period of time, you may need to trim the trunk.

Don't like the look of Christmas tree stands? Make a Christmas tree basket or a nifty tree skirt

DIY Burlap Christmas Tree Skirt

Trim the Branches: Basic Christmas Tree Maintenance

Why do you need to trim the branches of a Christmas tree? 

  1. Trim off branches if your tree is especially thick. The fewer branches there are to water, the more likely your tree will survive.
  2. Branch trimming will also help the look of your tree when it's time to hang ornaments.
  3. Additionally, it will save you space. Decoration space is valuable during the holiday season!

Frosted Glass Design Homemade Ornaments

DIY Christmas Ornaments: Christmas Tree Decorations

What are your Christmas tree care tips!?

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I haven't bought my tree yet, and since i want a fresh tree all the way to January, i will follow these steps to the latter. I especially liked how to keep it hydrated. I always wondered why my neighbor trimmed his branches but its great to find out his secret here.

All of these are wonderful tips to selecting the best tree! Another trick, in addition to all those suggested, is if possible, grab the tree by the trunk in the middle and gently slam it on the ground. If a ton of needles fall, take a pass. Of course, there will be some needles falling, but you can tell if it is to the point where it is too many to be acceptable. Great suggestions for a long lasting live Christmas tree!

This is super handy! I'm going to bookmark this and keep it for when I (attempt) to keep a Christmas tree alive this year.


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