You can extend the freshness and vitality of your live Christmas tree throughout the holiday season.
Start with a fresh tree. When selecting a tree, look for one with vibrant, green needles that are hard to pull off and don't break easily. The trunk should be sticky with resin.
Once you bring the tree home, make a fresh cut at the base of the trunk. This opens up the tree's pores, allowing it to absorb water more effectively. Cut off about 1 to 2 inches from the bottom.
Water and then check water level regularly. This is VERY important! Place the tree in a sturdy tree stand that can hold water. Ensure that the base of the tree is always submerged. A freshly cut tree can absorb a surprising amount of water, so don't let the water level drop below the cut end of the trunk.
Location is also especially important. Position the tree away from heat sources like radiators, fireplaces, heating vents, and direct sunlight. Heat causes trees to dry out quickly.
Even though you may have heard that adding things like bleach, corn syrup, aspirin or sugar to the water help to nourish a live tree, Good Housekeeping and The National Christmas Tree Association say tree preservatives and additives are unnecessary. Most experts agree that plenty of clean water is all you need to keep a tree fresh, and the preservatives can be toxic to pets and children.
Periodically mist the tree with water to help prevent the needles from drying out. This isn't something most of us want to do given the decor we've added to the tree, but it does help keep the tree from getting crispy. Alternatively, you can place a humidifier or tray filled with water near the tree to keep the needles green and fresh.
Avoid using heat-producing lights on the tree, as this can contribute to drying it out. LED lights are a better option, as they emit less heat.
Plan to take down and dispose of the tree as soon as it shows signs of drying out. A dry tree poses a fire hazard.