Real Christmas trees continue to drink water after they have been harvested. If they are kept in a cool place out of the sun and provided with fresh water they should last at least 4 weeks. To make your tree last as long as possible:

  • Refresh the tree by making a straight cut at the base of the tree, taking one inch off the butt and immediately placing it in water. This will improve water uptake (See Tip 1).
  • Place the tree in a stand that can hold at least 2 litres of water. You should expect the tree to take up additional water. Water the new tree until water uptake stops.
  • Always keep the base of a tree in water. If the base dries out, resin will form over the cut end and the tree will not be able to absorb water and will dry out quickly. You don’t need anything other than regular tap water – drying out deters future water uptake and will need a new cut. Commercially prepared mixes like aspirin, sugar and other additives introduce into the water are not necessary. Research has shown that plain water will keep a tree fresh.
  • Check for worn Christmas tree light electrical cords and always unplug at night. Use approved electrical decorations and cords. Using miniature lights produce less heat and reduce the drying effect on the tree or any chance of fire.

Take down the tree before it dries out. Many fresh cut trees if properly cared for (using the first five steps) should last at least four weeks before drying out. Some species keep their moisture longer than others.


  1. Cutting a refresh cookie off the tree base is important only when trees have been cut for over 4 hours.
  2. For easier watering, buy a funnel and a 3 to 4 foot tube. Slip the tube over the funnel outlet, extend tubing down into the tree stand and water without bending over or disturbing the tree skirt. Hide this system in an out-of-the-way part of the tree.