How long do live christmas trees last indoors

How To Make A Christmas Tree Last All December Long

November 21, 2019

If you’ve decided to purchase a fresh-cut Christmas tree this year, you may be eager to cut your tree and bring it home. But, if you cut your tree too early, you may struggle to keep it fresh and green until Christmas or the new year. For a tree that thrives all December long, check out our tips for how to make a Christmas tree last.

How Long Does a Real Christmas Tree Last?

While many people start decorating November 1st, even the freshest-cut trees aren’t made to last forever. A healthy, fresh-cut Christmas tree will last for four to five weeks if properly cared for.

If you’re itching to put up your holiday decorations earlier, start with non-living decorations whenever you like, and finish off with fresh greenery and your Christmas tree around the first of December.

Start With a Fresh Tree

In order to have a green tree all December long, you’ll need to pay attention to a few things when selecting your tree. Starting with a healthy tree is a huge part of how to make a Christmas tree last.


There are a variety of tree species to choose from when it comes to selecting a Christmas tree. While most of them will last about a month, there are a few that stand out for their excellent needle retention:

  • Fraser Fir
  • Concolor Fir
  • Canaan Fir
  • White Pine


While it may seem like common sense, you should pick out a tree that looks physically healthy. These trees are more likely to last you all the way through the holidays, and can be identified by a few simple traits:

  • Soft, pliable outer branches
  • Even color across branches and needles
  • Fresh, fragrant scent
  • Bark that is smooth, not wrinkled

Transport and Store Your Tree Safely

Once you’ve selected a gorgeous, healthy tree for your home, you’ll need to have a plan for how to get it home safely.  At Stauffers, we’ll gladly assist you with wrapping and loading your tree into your vehicle for free. Whether you choose to strap it to a roof rack or fit it inside your vehicle, we’ll be there to help. Here are a few additional tips to keep your tree safe on its journey home.


Try your best to pick up your freshly-cut tree on a clear day. While Christmas trees can endure the cold just fine, rain and snow will create a mess in your vehicle and your home.


When customers ask us how to make a Christmas tree last longer, transportation is the first thing we mention. Being too rough with your tree can cause it to drop needles prematurely, making a mess and leaving bare spots in its greenery.

Most trees come packaged in netting, which helps keep their more delicate branches safe on the trip. If your tree does not come wrapped up, consider wrapping it in an old blanket to keep it safe and confined. If you’re transporting your tree on the roof, put the trunk end at the front of the vehicle. This will prevent needles from blowing off.


Many people like to store their tree outside or in a garage for a few days before bringing it in. If you plan on storing your tree outside, stand it up in a bucket of water in the shade to keep it hydrated. You can also bring it inside into a garage or shed for extra protection.

Christmas Tree Stands

Getting your Christmas tree straight and in its stand can be one of the more stressful parts of Christmas. We offer several stands in our Home & Garden Stores that will get the job done perfectly. Here are a few tips for getting your tree ready for ornaments, while also ensuring longevity of its color and form.

Make a Fresh Cut

Many tree farms and home and garden centers will make a fresh cut for you before you take your tree home. If you choose to do it yourself instead, start by cutting between half an inch and one inch off the bottom of your tree’s trunk. Making an even cut now will make getting your tree in the stand even easier.

Drilling a Hole

While some tree stands require you to drill a hole in the trunk of the tree to center it on its base, there is no need to drill a hole for water consumption.

Stauffers Home & Garden stores offer both cutting and drilling services at no charge when you purchase a fresh cut tree. Additionally, we will bag and load your tree.

How to Keep a Christmas Tree Fresh & Green

For those who like to decorate early, keeping your tree fresh and green throughout the holiday season is crucial. Once cut, Christmas trees will slowly begin to wilt and lose their bright green color. With these easy tips, you can keep your Christmas tree looking beautiful from Thanksgiving to New Year’s.

Watering Your Christmas Tree

If you’re wondering how to make a Christmas tree last as long as possible, the simple answer is water. Water your tree every day, at least for the first two weeks after being cut. This is when trees take up the most water, which is why getting a fresh-cut tree is so important. 

While trees can drink up to a gallon of cool water per day, the general rule is that they will drink one quart for every inch of trunk diameter. For example, a tree with a trunk that is three inches across at the base would need three quarts of water per day.


Wilt-Stop is a plant-protecting spray that can help your Christmas greenery keep its color throughout the holiday season. It prevents your tree from losing moisture by creating a protective coating over its needles. This will keep your tree looking fresh and also prevent it from dropping needles prematurely.

Wilt-Stop is made from the resin of pine trees, which means that it is a great, non-toxic way to make Christmas trees last longer. In addition to using Wilt-Stop on your Christmas tree, you can use it for any other holiday greenery around your home, from wreaths to garlands.

Recycling Your Christmas Tree

While many counties and municipalities have Christmas tree pick-up services, there are a number of ways to reuse and recycle your Christmas tree in the new year. With these tips, you can make your Christmas tree last even longer.

Shelter for Backyard Wildlife

Give birds, chipmunks, and other backyard creatures a little extra shelter from the cold this winter by taking your Christmas tree outside once you’re done with it. You can lean it up against a fence or another tree, or lay it on its side to provide a home for rabbits and other animals. Just make sure to place it away from your house to prevent any animals from trying to join you in your heated home.

Turn Your Tree Into Mulch

If you have a garden, you can use your Christmas tree to keep the roots of your perennials warm over the cold months. There are two ways to utilize branches as mulch, and neither require a wood chipper or shredder.

To protect perennials, you can simply clip a few small branches from the tree and lay them on top of the soil around your plants. This will keep the roots warm all winter long.

You can use pine needles to help protect your plants and keep moisture in your soil. Simply cut a branch off and shake or wipe the needles off. If they don’t fall off easily, give your tree another day outside without water.

Now that you know how to make a Christmas tree last, are you ready to buy? Explore our wide selection of artificial, fresh-cut, and living Christmas trees at Stauffers today!

How to Make a Real Christmas Tree Last Longer

If you celebrate Christmas, you know there's nothing like having a real Christmas tree in your home. The adventure of heading to your local Christmas tree farm, picking out the perfect fir, pine or spruce, then bringing it home is half the fun — but the magic really begins once your tree is all dressed up for the holidays.

To keep your tree's sparkle alive for as long as possible indoors, the home care experts at the Good Housekeeping Institute have rounded up our best tips for making sure that your tree is still looking fresh come Christmas morning.

How long do real Christmas trees last?

With proper care, most real Christmas trees should last at least five weeks or more.

That means, if you decorate for Christmas in late November, your tree should easily survive beyond the holiday festivities. However, we suggest buying your Christmas tree during the first week of December to ensure you aren't left with a dried up, brittle tree come December 25.

How to keep a Christmas tree alive for longer

Follow our tips to keep your Christmas tree looking fresh long after it's cut.


1. Start with a healthy Christmas tree from a local farm.

    If you buy your tree from a garden store or roadside lot, it's likely that it came from out-of-state and has been exposed to drying winds in transit — meaning, it's going to have a much shorter shelf life than one that you've chopped down yourself at a local tree farm. Either way, it's essential to know how to choose the freshest possible Christmas tree.

    Keep these tips in mind as you hunt for you Christmas tree:

    • Look for a healthy, green tree with the least amount of brown needles.
    • Select a tree displayed in a shady location. Avoid picking from a sunny area.
    • Run a few branches through your hands. The needles should feel pliable and not fall off.
    • Raise the tree a few inches, then drop the trunk into the ground. Very few green needles should fall off (but it's fine if the tree loses a few brown ones).

    2. Trim the trunk (and then trim it again).

    When you purchase a Christmas tree, double-check that the seller makes a fresh cut straight across the base of the trunk to aid water absorption. This gets rid of any dried-over resin that might block the tree from absorbing water.

    When you get home, if you're not putting your tree up right away, place it in a bucket of water. (Note that you should always store real trees in an unheated garage or area that's protected from wind and freezing temperatures.)

    When you're ready to bring it inside, make another one-inch cut off the bottom of the trunk to help with water absorption.

    Rike_//Getty Images

    3. Check the water level of your Christmas tree daily.

    Once inside, place your tree in a sturdy stand that holds at least one gallon of water. Then don't forget to regularly water your Christmas tree — too little can cause resin to form, which means the tree won't absorb water and it will dry out quickly.

    Much more is at risk than just aesthetics — a dry Christmas tree can pose a real danger to your home. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that between 2015 and 2019, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 160 home fires started by Christmas trees each year. It can take less than 30 seconds for a dry tree to burn down most of your living room — but that's not the case with a watered Christmas tree.

    View full post on Youtube

    So how much water does your tree need? "Your stand should have a water reservoir that can hold one quart of water for every inch of the trunk's diameter," advises Rachel Rothman, the Good Housekeeping Institute's executive technical director. Just remember to check the water level daily and refill as needed — it should always cover the bottom two inches of the trunk.

    Even though you've heard people talk about adding things like bleach, corn syrup, aspirin, and sugar to the water, we believe tree preservatives and additives are probably unnecessary. Most experts agree that plenty of clean water is all you need to keep a tree fresh.

    EXPERT TIP: If you lower the temperature in the room, it can also help slow down the drying process (and therefore result in your tree requiring a bit less water), according to the National Christmas Tree Association.

    4. Keep the Christmas tree away from heat sources.

    Sure, there's nothing more lovely than a beautifully decorated Christmas tree beside a roaring fireplace — but, along with frayed Christmas lights, candles, radiators, air ducts and stoves, a regularly used fireplace could contribute to your tree drying out at a much quicker pace. Plus, the NFPA reports that nearly 1/5 of Christmas tree fires are caused by a tree being too close to a heat source.

    If your home is prone to dryness, try using a top-rated humidifier to add moisture to the room. The Good Housekeeping Institute Tech Lab recommends the Levoit Ultrasonic Humidifier for large areas (like the living room!). It performed well in our tests and can add enough moisture to the air to keep your tree fresh longer.

    5. Take your tree down

    before it dries out.

    If you wait too long to take down your Christmas tree, you'll just end up with more dead pine needles to deal with. The easiest way to clean up fallen needles is by using your vacuum's hose — skip the fancy attachments and just use the end of the hose to draw needles directly into the bag or canister.

    When you're officially done with your tree, you have a couple options: You can start a new compost pile with it, recycle it or turn it into mulch yourself. You can also ask your town about what types of disposal options it offers, if you're looking for a more eco-friendly solution.

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    • 75+ Homemade Christmas Ornaments for Your Tree

    Carolyn FortéHome Care & Cleaning Lab Executive Director

    Carolyn Forté brings more than 40 years of experience as a consumer products expert to her role as executive director of the Good Housekeeping Institute's Home Care and Cleaning Lab. Using deep analytical testing and writing expertise in appliances, cleaning, textiles and organizational products, she produces cleaning and home care advice for GH, has authored numerous books and bookazines for the brand and partners with the American Cleaning Institute to co-produce the Discover Cleaning Summits. She holds a bachelor's degree in family and consumer sciences from Queens College, City University of New York.

    This content is imported from OpenWeb. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

    How to keep the Christmas tree fresh longer after purchase - Articles


    • How to care for a Christmas tree?
    • How to keep your Christmas tree fresh before installation
    • Christmas tree installation
    • Water supply to the shaft
    • Caring for the tree after installation
    • Christmas trees in a pot
    • What to do with the Christmas tree after the holidays?

    How to care for a Christmas tree?

    Everyone who would like to buy a real live Christmas tree for the New Year thought about how long the Christmas tree will last at home, and how many days before the holiday you need to buy it?

    We answer - the life of Christmas trees, firs and pines is different, but none of them will stay warm in your house for more than two weeks.

    Russian and Norwegian Christmas trees begin to crumble after about 5-7 days, pines stand a few days longer, firs do not crumble, but gradually dry out and change the color of the needles, it becomes paler. For more information about the properties of New Year trees, in our article "Types of New Year Trees."

    This applies, of course, to trees already unpacked and installed in a warm room. However, it is possible to buy spruce long before the New Year and keep it fresh for the holiday, up to a month or more. We'll show you how.

    Christmas tree in the interior

    How to keep your Christmas tree fresh before installation

    The first thing to do is to decide on the date when you need it, already beautiful and dressed up. We recommend installing Danish Spruce, Fraser Fir, Canadian Pine 5-7 days in advance, and Russian and Norwegian Christmas Trees 3-5 days in advance.

    All the time until this moment, it is better for the tree to stay in a cool place, at a temperature not higher than 5-10 degrees Celsius, with a minimum amount of light and, preferably, with high humidity.

    The key to success is to reduce the amount of moisture evaporated from the plant. For this purpose, a garage or an unheated balcony is perfect. In our experience, there was a case when the Christmas tree remained green and fresh even six months after purchase. And one of our employees set up a Christmas tree on March 8, as an unusual gift for loved ones.

    By the way, live Fraser fir comes to Russia from North America, from where it is transported for 45 days in cold stores across the ocean, with a minimum amount of light and with 100% humidity.

    This does not affect its quality in any way, since Fraser Fir is considered the highest quality Christmas tree that can be bought in our country for the New Year: it stands for a very long time, does not crumble at all, and the branches of this fir are so strong that they can withstand even very heavy toys and real candlesticks.

    Tree seedlings

    Christmas tree installation

    The cut Christmas tree begins to dry out only from the moment it gets into heat and the process of “drying” begins, the evaporation of moisture from the needles, so after installing the Christmas tree, you need to provide it with a regular supply of water to the trunk, and cool, humid air.

    A place for a Christmas tree is suitable away from open flames, electric heaters, radiators and other heat sources. It is very good if the room is sometimes ventilated in order to slightly lower the temperature, and the air is regularly humidified.

    After unpacking, the tree must be shaken off dry needles. A certain number of such needles should not scare you, this is quite normal, since spruce branches rub against each other during transportation and packaging. The total mass will still remain green.

    Separately, it is worth mentioning that if there is a severe frost outside, less than 15 degrees, then the needles and twigs become very fragile and can be easily damaged. In such weather, we do not recommend disturbing the live spruce branches once again immediately after you brought it home. It is better to hold it for the gradual adaptation of the tree to room temperature, and only then unfold it.

    Tree nursery

    Water supply to the shaft

    The next thing to do is to ensure a regular supply of water to the trunk. In order for the tree to better absorb water, the trunk is cut down 2-3 cm from the log house or notched with a knife to form a fresh cut and a larger area for absorbing moisture.

    When delivering a Christmas tree from our online store, this is done without fail, and at our Christmas tree markets - at the request of the buyer. If you do it yourself, try not to cut the trunk at an angle, such a tree will be difficult to establish, and also do not accidentally cut the bark above the water level - this will greatly reduce the amount of moisture absorbed.

    You can use special Christmas tree stands with water tanks. In them, the Christmas tree is securely and quickly fixed in the desired position, and it is easy to add water as it evaporates. We also recommend using hydrogel - a special tool for retaining moisture.

    Trees on stands

    Tree maintenance after installation

    All trees crumble differently. The Russian Christmas tree, as well as the European (Norwegian) spruce, will begin to lose needles in a few days, the Russian and Canadian pines stand a little longer, their needles may dry out, but if they are not disturbed, they will not crumble much, especially in Canadian pine. And, for example, Danish spruce (Nordmann fir) and Fraser fir do not lose their needles at all, they dry out right on the branches, only slightly changing color. You can take them outside after the holidays, losing perhaps 10 percent of the needles.

    Spruce needles

    Potted Christmas trees

    There is an option to do without shedding needles at all - this is to buy a spruce in a pot. The price of this Christmas tree will be higher than that of a cut tree, but it will not give you any trouble with cleaning. This is a beautiful, well-wintering, world-famous ornamental plant that can be planted in the spring in the yard or at their summer cottage. See also "All about spruces in containers"

    The higher the air temperature in the room, the sooner your cut spruce will begin to crumble. At a temperature of 10 degrees above zero, the New Year tree will stand for a long time, up to a month. But in winter it is quite hot in our apartments, and every 5 degrees increase in temperature reduces the life expectancy of spruce by 1 day. That is, if your house has 28-30 degrees, then with all the tricks, the tree will stand for only a few days. We advise you to regularly ventilate the room in which your Christmas tree stands in order to lower the air temperature by at least a few degrees. You should also not forget that electric electric heaters dry out the air a lot, so it is better not to use them where a live Christmas tree is installed.

    Spray the branches as often as possible with a spray bottle, but you need to do this only after making sure that the electric garland on it is turned off!

    There are also special products for extending the life of Christmas trees - in the form of water-soluble tablets (1 tablet per 2 liters of water) or liquid fertilizer (2 caps of the product per 1.5 liters of water). We will not claim that this is a panacea for shedding, such products prolong the life of cut fir trees by only 2-5 days, but, as a rule, this is enough to celebrate the New Year holidays and spend the weekend comfortably without thinking about urgent cleaning.

    Christmas trees in pots

    What to do with the Christmas tree after the holidays?

    For convenience, you can buy a special case for the disposal of Christmas trees. You can put a tree on it so as not to scratch the floor in the apartment, it is suitable as a decorative element that covers the stand, it will be possible to hide especially valuable gifts in it, and after the holidays, wrap the tree and take it outside without scattering dry needles.

    A live Christmas tree is a real joy for the whole family. And after the holidays, you can throw it away without any regret. Wood is one of the most environmentally friendly materials; when disposed of, it does not harm nature, like plastic bags or artificial Christmas trees.

    See also: "Which is better - a live Christmas tree or an artificial one"

    If you do not want to think about what to do with the tree after the New Year, or the question “Who will go to throw the tree away?” is popular in your family. then you can order a special service from us - Removal and disposal of the Christmas tree, our employees will save you from these troubles, and you will continue to relax.

    Packed Christmas trees

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    How long do Christmas trees live (and why)?

    Last updated: August 26, 2022 / author Sandeep Bhandari / Fact verified / 4 minutes

    Exact answer: 4 to 5 weeks

    Christmas is one of the most celebrated holidays in the world. The most important aspect of the Christmas holiday is the Christmas tree. Christmas is unthinkable without a Christmas tree.

    The average lifespan of a freshly cut Christmas tree ranges from 4 to 5 weeks. Some artificial Christmas trees last much longer than freshly cut Christmas trees.

    The life of a freshly cut Christmas tree depends on its care, unlike artificial Christmas trees. Freshly cut Christmas trees must be chosen with precision and the ideal tree must be chosen.

    The tree needs to be watered from time to time to increase its life. When choosing a freshly cut Christmas tree, make sure that the freshly cut Christmas tree has green needles and not brown ones.

    When a freshly cut tree is cut down, if very few needles fall when the tree falls, then the tree is good. If too many needles fall from a tree, this indicates that the tree is not good.

    The life of a freshly cut tree also depends on the type of tree. Some types of freshly cut Christmas trees have a longer life than those that last a very short time.

    The tree must be cut correctly and with care so as not to damage the tree and shorten the life of the freshly cut Christmas tree. A freshly cut Christmas tree must be handled with care during the transportation of the Christmas tree.

    How long do Christmas trees live?

    A freshly cut Christmas tree typically has an average lifespan of 4 to 5 weeks. The lifespan of a freshly cut Christmas tree can be more or less depending on the type of tree, tree care, and many other aspects.

    The Christmas tree is one of the most important elements of the Christmas holiday. The tree chosen for such an important day must remain fresh until the Christmas holiday.

    It is essential that the wood is kept as moist as possible. A freshly cut Christmas tree needs to be watered regularly to keep it fresh longer. Typically, Christmas trees absorb 1 to 2 liters of water per day, depending on the size of the tree.

    To prolong the life of a freshly cut Christmas tree, do not keep it in a room that restricts airflow. A freshly cut Christmas tree should be stored in a well-ventilated area with sufficient airflow.

    A freshly cut tree should be kept away from fireplaces and heaters to avoid shortening the life of the tree. Wood dries out and begins to shed if exposed to too much heat.

    After Christmas is over and the tree is dry, it is very important to properly dispose of the freshly cut tree. Wood decomposes naturally, but this will take a long time depending on its size. It is recommended that you contact a waste center for assistance in recycling wood in an environmentally friendly manner.

    Freshly cut trees should be watered regularly to keep them fresh and increase the life of the freshly cut tree. The tree must be properly felled and transported with care.

    The tree must be provided with sufficient water to prevent the tree from drying out and falling off the needles. The tree should look fresh when selected, and the needles should be green, not brown.

    The tree should be creatively decorated and look good. Decorations on the Christmas tree enhance its beauty and add a festive touch to the holiday of Christmas.


    The Christmas tree is one of the most important elements of the Christmas holiday. The Christmas tree must be perfect.

    The Christmas tree should be well cared for and decorated to enhance the celebration of Christmas.

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