Keep Your Christmas Tree Green Longer

Those Needles!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! Neighborhoods are aglow with twinkling lights. Giant, inflatable Santas have been stationed in front yards. And of course, Christmas trees decked with lights and shiny ornaments have been put on display.

Having a live Christmas tree can make the holidays extra special. But those needles! Is there anything that can be done about them?

Closeup of Christmas ornaments on pine tree.
Photo: William Warby, C.C. copyright info.

Just like a bouquet of flowers, live Christmas trees retain their freshness with good care and a lot of water.

Caring for Your Christmas Tree

Here are several tips to keep your tree looking festive long past New Year’s Day.

1. Choose a fir tree. Balsam firs are the best. Firs retain their needles and smell good longer than spruce or pine. Pine drops needles and can have a bad smell if broken.

2. If possible, get your tree at a tree farm. Trees for sale on a lot might not be well-hydrated. The drier the tree, the more needles will fall.

3. If you buy a tree on a lot, shake the tree before buying. If little to no needles fall, then the tree has probably been watered since it was harvested.

4. Transport your tree wrapped in plastic or a tarp to protect what moisture is in its branches.

5. Once at home, take an inch off the bottom of the trunk. (No need to do this if you cut down your tree.) This will allow for better water absorption.

6. Make sure the tree always has adequate water. Water levels should be checked daily. A six-foot tree, for example, might require several quarts of water per day.

7. Display your tree in a place that is cool and dry away from direct sunlight, fireplace, or other sources of heat, such as vents. All contribute to the drying process and will bring on the loss of needles.

Krista White

Krista White

Krista is a member of the marketing and education team at Tree Shepherds. A lifelong learner, she loves writing about anything from Hemingway to Quercus macrocarpa.