Having a fresh Christmas tree in the house comes with a gorgeous pine fragrance and an abundance of gorgeous green branches for that true Christmas feeling! But it’s not quite the same when that lovely tree turns brown and starts to droop. Here’s how to keep your tree alive as long as possible.
- Make sure your tree is super fresh when you source it. Try a busy place to purchase from, as they will likely have a good supply of newly cut trees. Look for a vibrant green hue, healthy looking branches, and shake the tree gently to see how many pine needles fall away. The fresher the tree, the fewer needles will fall.
- Treat it kindly. To truly protect your tree, you can make sure its wrapped when you’re transporting it home, which will limit needle loss and exposure to wind. Once home, you can go the extra mile by keeping the tree in a safe place for a day or two before you put it up, which helps the tree ‘acclimatise’ to its new environment and temperature.
- Keep your tree hydrated. When you put the tree up, cut the stem shorter before you submerge the base in a water-filled stand. The fresher cut allows the tree to continue soaking up water to supply the branches and stem with moisture. Most trees will “drink” a three-litre bucket of water every day, so keep it filled to the brim!
- Protect your tree. Make sure it’s not positioned front of a window or anywhere it’s going to suffer from the harsh Australian summer sun. Also, turn off Christmas lights as much as possible (especially overnight) to avoid patches drying out. This also reduces any fire risk.
- Trim it regularly. Watch for dry, brittle branches or browned sections, and prune them so the tree isn’t struggling to send water to the parched parts. Your tree will last a lot longer if it’s kept in good shape (like the rest of us!). You can also add flower food to the water to keep your tree ‘fed’.
More tips from North Shore Mums
North Shore Mums were also happy to share their top tips in our Facebook group for a tree that looks fantastic too…
‘We always get one first weekend in December and it lasts til New Year. We get it from Harris Farm normally. I put aspirin in the water. No idea if this useful or an old wives tale but ours last well. Most important is to make sure there’s always some water in the bucket/stand. Often local scouts do tree selling too.’ – Fiona
‘Get one of these Christmas tree holders from Ikea, it has room for watering it to last long. Should last for about four weeks indoors. Don’t forget to get a big Christmas tree carpet under because it makes a mess when the “leaf” is coming off! When you’re done and wants to throw it out, wrap it in a big garbage bag (use several) and try to make it as closed as possible because you will end up with a trail that takes forever to clean up!!!’ – Cim
‘It’s really important to keep the water topped up. Once you get it home, make sure you saw off an inch at the bottom and get it immersed in water immediately. Otherwise it will seal over within minutes and can’t absorb any water. If you do this step properly, you’ll notice the water level going down over the next 24hrs. This is when you should top up. Check it every day for the first few days, then once every few days after.
‘I use a Cinco brand tree stand. I bought it from Dural Christmas Tree farm but you might find it elsewhere too. It’s got little spikes in the base to “ram” the trunk down into, support bars to wind into the sides, a big area for water, plus a little catchment around the edge for any spillage. It’s very stable’ – Emily
‘Once you get it home tip it upside down and give it a massive shake to get all the loose needles out. Once it’s in position (and before you decorate it) spray the crap out of it with a cheap can of hairspray, making sure you reach right into the middle of it. This will stop it from dropping a heap more needles over Christmas.’ – Liz
‘You can buy a tree stand that holds it upright, and has a section for water to keep it going longer. Also if you buy it cut, get them to cut the trunk again and put straight into water when you get it home. Also they have Christmas tree farms at Dural etc where you can go pick one out, they put your name on it, and you pick it up closer to Christmas. I think around mid December is good in terms of keeping it going. Finally the councils will have a tree collection day around in January so it can be mulched.’ – Tasha
Fancy more festive fun? Then take a look at our dedicated Christmas Corner for Santa locations, streets with incredible Christmas lights, carols, pantomimes, real trees, elf on the shelf, Christmas markets, gift ideas and more!