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How to Keep a Real Christmas Tree Fresh

Author:Terry B.
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closeup of evergreen trees
Photo by David Boozer on Unsplash

Real Christmas trees smell so good and look beautiful, but needle drop can be a pain, and if you’ve ever gotten a spruce needle stuck in your sock, you know what I’m talking about. But you can take steps to help your fresh tree hold on to its needles. Follow these tips from Jill O'Donnell and Bert Cregg, Michigan State University Extension.

  1. Make sure your tree is actually fresh. Going to a tree farm and cutting your own tree will guarantee freshness (and it’s a fun family activity). If you’re looking at precut trees, check them for freshness before buying. Do this by either gently tugging the branches or tapping the tree on the ground. If needles start dropping, that’s a hard No.
  2. Water is crucial! Use a stand that can hold at least a quart of water.
  3. If you buy a precut tree, or if your freshly cut tree had to sit in the garage for more than a day, cut an inch off the trunk before putting it in the stand. This will help it soak up more water.
  4. Be prepared to check the water level in your tree stand at least once a day and keep it filled.

These tips will help keep your Christmas tree looking fresh. However, it’s inevitable that some needles will drop. You can place a skirt or mat under the tree to catch needles and spilled water. And when the holidays are over, check out these ways to reuse your tree.

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