Christmas trees whether fresh cut or in a container, need special care to make it through the season as healthy as possible. If you take a few easy steps with your tree it will keep its needles until New Year’s Day or if you have a living tree, you’ll be able to plant it in the spring.
When you buy a tree it was likely cut weeks ago. Unless you go to a tree farm and have yours cut that day, the tree you are buying came from New Hampshire, North Carolina, Canada or some other place likely far away.
As soon as the tree is cut the wound will begin to seal. When you purchase your tree, you want to make a fresh cut of about an inch or two if possible and then put a wet towel on the cut for the ride home. When you get home it’s important you place the tree in water immediately, even if you aren’t going to decorate it for a few days. After 12 hours the cut will seal up again and if you haven’t taken any of these steps recut the bottom.
If you have already places your tree in the stand and it’s not taking water, you can make some scratches along the trunk of the tree removing the bark and roughing up the immediate layers closest to the surface, this will help the tree get water.
Keep the tree away from direct sun and heating vents. The cooler you can keep your tree the longer it will last. A tree should hold its needles for 3-4 weeks which is generally long enough for most people.
If you bought a tree in a pot known as a living Christmas tree, don’t bring it inside until about 10 days before Christmas and then move it back into a colder spot after the holiday. It’s difficult to keep an evergreen tree alive inside a dry home in winter. These trees are great to decorate, but should be kept in a cool spot before and after they are in the house. You can keep the tree in the garage or an unheated sunporch until you are ready to plant it in the spring. You can also dig a hole in the ground and just put the tree in its pot in the ground and then cover it will soil and a thick layer of mulch.