According to the National Christmas Tree Association, more than 25-30 million real Christmas trees are sold in the U.S. every year. Most live Christmas trees can stay healthy for up to five weeks after being cut and brought indoors. But a sad reality is that many homeowners experience a die-off much sooner.
The number one secret to keeping a Christmas tree in good health is to keep it submerged in two inches of water at all times. As soon as you bring your Christmas tree home, place it in a treestand and add enough water to cover two inches of the trunk. Check the water level often to see how much water your tree absorbs. You may need to add more water 1 or 2 times per day. Doing so can help prevent pine needles from falling on the floor and keep your branches perky.
Other Tips for Keeping a Healthy Christmas Tree
Monitor Humidity Levels
Aside from keeping your tree well-watered, monitor humidity levels in your home. When heat is high and humidity low, a tree will start dropping pine needles to self-preserve. If humidity levels in your home fall below 30%, run a humidifier to put moisture back in the air.
Cut an Inch Off of the Base of PreCut Trees
Tree farms sometimes cut evergreens up to a week in advance. When a tree is cut and not immediately placed in water, the cut portion oozes sap, sealing off the bottom. When this happens, the tree can’t properly absorb water.
If you didn’t cut down your Christmas tree yourself, slice off at least an inch of the bottom of the trunk. You can use a tree saw or ask the tree farm you purchased from to do this for you. Then, when you get home, immediately place the tree in water so it doesn’t reseal itself.
Dispose of Your Tree Before Pine Needles Start Dropping
Even with constant watering, there will come a time when the health of your tree declines. If you don’t want to deal with hundreds or thousands of dropping pine needles, dispose of your tree before it dries.
There are many ways to dispose of a Christmas tree, which include participating in your city’s Christmas tree collection event, turning the tree into mulch, sinking it into a pond, or placing it in the woods.