1. Look For a Healthy, Vibrant Tree
When looking for your tree, ask the tree farm where the trees came from and how long they have been on the lot. When you find one you like, run your fingers along the branches. You are looking for soft, flexible needles that are a deep green color.
2. Give Your Tree Trunk Another Cut
Even if you get your tree from a tree lot, you should ask for a fresh cut across the trunk of the tree about an inch high. This helps to prime the trunk again so that the tree can take in water properly. If you don't the tree may not be able to absorb water and not last as long.
3. Get Tree in Water ASAP
Because you need to transport the tree home, you must get it in water as soon as possible. If you don't know where it's going to go, put it in a 5-gallon bucket. Some trees will absorb a full gallon of water in the first 24 hours.
4. Keep it Cool
Heat sources like fireplaces, wood stoves, space heaters, and radiators can often dry out a tree much faster than you can water it, so it’s best to locate your tree away from heating elements and heating vents, and out of direct sunlight.
5. Use LED Lights on Your Tree
LED lights emit hardly any heat. This will actually keep your tree from drying out too soon. It also reduces the risk of fire.
6. Check the Water Level
Your real tree will be very thirsty and take in a lot of water. You will need to check the water level every day. You may need to top off the water each day.
7. Recycle Your Christmas Tree
Your Christmas tree should last four to five weeks before it dries out too much. When your tree has given you its all, you can find a local tree recycling program. Or you can use the branches in your perennial beds as mulch.