Keeping Your Tree Fresh

Noble fir and Fraser fir can easily be displayed in water for 6 to 8 weeks without becoming a fire hazard.  Nordman fir, also known as Turkish fir, has a similar keepablity life span.  Other species will easily stay fresh for many weeks. 

Follow these steps to help your tree stay fresh for the entire holiday season:

  • Buy a fresh tree by making sure the needles feel supple to the touch.
  • When you get ready to put up the tree, cut ½” from the end of the trunk prior to putting it in the stand.
  • Place the tree base in cool water as soon as you can.  No need for anything else, just water.
  • The tree will consume approximately one quart of water for every inch in diameter of trunk base.  Hence, a 4” diameter trunk will use up to 4 quarts of water a day. 
  • If your stand runs out of water the trunk base will seal over and the tree will cease to hydrate.  Choose a stand with adequate water holding capacity and check the water twice daily.
  • If your tree does stop taking up water, you can cut another ½” from the base and repeat the steps above to extend the life of the tree even longer.   
  • In the home, keep trees away from direct sources of heat such as warm-air vents, wood stoves, fireplaces, hot lights, etc.  In warm climates, south facing windows should be avoided.
  • Think of your fresh tree just as you would fresh cut flowers and you will enjoy your Christmas tree for many weeks.

Caring for trees on your lot:

  • Sell trees on a first in, first out basis. 
  • Trees should be shaded and out of direct sunlight.
  • Wind will dry trees out almost faster than sun, so avoid windy storage areas whenever possible.
  • Trees can be stored either standing vertically or piled. 
  • Avoid piling baled trees on hot parking lots or against south-facing brick or concrete walls. 
  • Vertical storage allows trees to stand in water. 
  • Mist stacked trees at night to keep cool and reduce moisture lost during the day. 
  • Limit the height of stacked trees, as compaction and mold can become a problem.  Do not “soak” stacked trees.
  • Suspend a tarp or shade cloth over the trees for protection and allow two feet of air space down the sides for ventilation.