How long does a real christmas tree last inside

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 Long Does a Christmas Tree Last, Actually? Solved!


Q: Our family wants to replace our artificial Christmas tree with a real one this year, and the kids want to go tree shopping now. I worry that the tree will dry out before Christmas if we buy too early. How long does a Christmas tree last?

A: A real evergreen will no doubt make a festive and fragrant addition to your home, but most trees last weeks, not months. The moist stem and branches will dry and needles will transition from vibrant dark green to brown, then begin to fall. Fortunately, if you take a fastidious approach to tree selection, preparation, and care, you can keep it looking lovely longer—perhaps even into the new year.

RELATED: Christmas Miracle: 8 Simple Fixes for All Your Tree Troubles

A freshly cut Christmas tree lasts up to four weeks on average if you treat it right.

Yes, if you’re the person who likes to purchase a fresh tree the day after Thanksgiving, it can indeed make it to Christmas, provided that you take measures to care for the cut tree:

  • Place the tree upright in a metal, plastic, or concrete reservoir-style tree stand ($15 to $25 at home centers).
  • Fill the stand with one quart of cool tap water for each inch of stem (e.g., use a gallon of water for a tree with a four-inch stem) within two hours of getting it home.
  • Monitor the water level in daily and add more as needed to keep the bottom two inches of trunk submerged. Watering requirements are usually the highest during the first week the tree is up and decline in subsequent weeks.

You may be able to extend the life of your tree to five weeks if you:
… ask upfront about the tree cutting date.

Christmas trees are cut from mid-November to mid-December, so don’t assume that all trees you find for sale were freshly cut. If buying a pre-cut tree, ask when the trees on the lot were cut. Choose one that came down recently (within the week, if possible) so that it preserves its looks through the season.


… pick fir or cypress over spruce or pine.

How long a Christmas tree last will vary depending on the specific evergreen conifer species. Most often, Christmas trees available at tree farms or local home and garden centers belong to fir, cypress, pine, and spruce. Fir and cypress tend to keep most of their needles for four or five weeks, respectively, whereas pine and spruce are more likely to lose a high volume of needles within two or three weeks, respectively.

… inspect the needles.


Before buying the tree you have your eye on, take it by the trunk and give it a shake to observe the volume and color of the needles that fall off. Only a few brown needles should come off if the tree is fresh; numerous fallen green needles are a telltale sign that the tree has already gone dry.

… have it baled before bringing it home.

Many unsuspecting folks transport unbundled Christmas trees inside a truck cargo bed only to arrive home and find numerous branches bent and needles fallen on the way. If you’ll be hauling your tree home yourself rather than have it delivered, ask to have it put through a baling machine that will wrap it in protective netting or twine while also condensing its size without damaging the stem or branches. If driving home in a car as opposed to a truck, securely tie the baled tree to the roof racks with rope. Remove the netting once you have placed the tree inside your tree stand.

… unseal the tree trunk before putting it in water.

If your tree was cut more than six to eight hours ago (ask the attendant at the point of purchased exactly when it was cut), a layer of resin will have formed over the cells of the wood at the base of the trunk, sealing it and preventing water uptake. To re-open the cells so that the tree can absorb water, use a saw to cut a half inch of wood off of the base of the tree trunk before you place it in your tree stand.


… avoid additives.

Over the years, homeowners have laced the water in their tree stands with everything from floral preservatives to powdered bleach and crushed aspirin to keep their trees fresh. But there is no evidence that such additives prolong tree life; in fact, they can actually inhibit water retention and cause the tree to dry out faster. Only plain tap water is needed to quench your tree’s thirst.

RELATED: 8 Things You Never Even Knew About Christmas Trees

… keep the tree out of the heat.


To preserve moist needles and that vivid green hue, position your tree indoors at a temperature of ideally no more than 70 degrees Fahrenheit and away from direct sunlight. Similarly, avoid placing the tree near a fireplace, radiator, or space heater, as the heat from these sources can prematurely dry and brown your tree.

… invest in a moisture monitor.

Forgetting to regularly monitor and refill water in the tree stand or misjudging the current water level and not adding enough can result in premature drying. A moisture level monitor (e.g., Evergreen Elf, $22.99 on Amazon) mounted to the base of the tree stand can automatically sense the water level in the stand and light up or beep when the level is low to signal that it’s time to re-water.

… use miniature LED tree lights.

LED Christmas lights, particularly those in a miniature size (5 mm in length), use less energy and generate less heat than larger, incandescent bulbs. Adorning your tree with these energy-efficient lights will reduce drying and keep it fresh and green longer.


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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Why only a live Christmas tree should be installed

December 17, 2015Holidays

I vote for live Christmas trees with all my hands. I love the smell of pine needles, twigs sticky with resin, and the feeling of the New Year that comes to the house only with live spruce. I don’t like only that nasty voice inside that keeps telling me: “Hey, you are ruining nature by buying a live Christmas tree!” But now it's over. I was finally convinced that a live Christmas tree is great and its purchase does not harm the environment in any way.


I have warm family memories connected with the living Christmas tree. A few days before the New Year, the Christmas tree was delivered to the apartment through an unglazed balcony using a rope, since it was not very convenient to carry the Christmas tree to the fourth floor without an elevator. And it was a real adventure.

Then the Christmas tree was brought into the apartment and left on the floor. She had to thaw before installing in the stand. And gradually the small apartment (and how we only managed to fit the spruce!) was filled with such a dizzying aroma that you immediately felt that the New Year had come!

Everyone was in a good mood on the day the tree was set up, no one swearing. Maybe the very phytoncides that a living coniferous tree secretes acted this way?

And then we decorated the Christmas tree. First, dad unraveled the garlands and checked if all the bulbs in them worked. And my brother and I carefully took out toys from the boxes, wrapped in yellowed newspapers from 198 ... some year.

A place was carefully chosen for each balloon. Heavy - on the branches lower, light - higher. The hands were punctured and smeared with tar, and this was another proof - here it is, the New Year, the real one, has come!

I had mixed feelings when the boom in artificial Christmas trees suddenly came. On the one hand, I am worried about the environment, and I am also very sorry that the forests are being cut down, on the other hand, I could not accept the fact that the Christmas tree does not smell, and its branches are not sticky from resin. Artificial Christmas trees seemed so dull ... As if after a year of storage on the mezzanine, they managed to get pretty dusty. Instead of the life-giving smell of pine needles - the smell of dust. No, I couldn't deal with it.

And, as it turned out, she was right. In this article, we, together with the Yolki store, will smash three myths about the main New Year's symbol to smithereens and convince you that a living tree is much cooler than a plastic likeness.

Myth one: buying a live Christmas tree, you harm nature

New Year trees are specially grown on Russian and European plantations. Specialists calculate the turnover of Christmas trees, and as soon as one batch is taken out of the nursery, the ground is prepared and re-planted with seedlings. Similar to growing flowers, only the process is longer.

Blake Kent/

Artificial Christmas trees are made from oil products. Oil is a non-renewable resource. And imagine how much toxic waste remains after the production of plastic firs. It turns out that care for nature does not even smell here.

Christmas trees that come from nurseries are designed to please you on the holiday. Remember when Joe told Phoebe on Friends that every tree should fulfill its New Year's purpose?

Just don't rush to the Christmas tree stand around the corner - there may very well be trees cut down illegally. But there is no need to look for a certified Christmas tree market throughout the city. A fresh and beautiful Christmas tree can be ordered in the online store, and around the clock.

H&S Produktion/

Myth two: a live Christmas tree is difficult to install, and after cleaning, needles are everywhere. And no needles on the floor.

First of all, the Christmas tree industry does not stand still, and now you can buy a convenient stand for living spruce, in which it will be installed without effort. Secondly, in the Yolki store you can order an installation service if the spruce is large and heavy, and enjoy only the process of decorating it.

Here is a sweet gingerbread for those who don't like to find needles everywhere after the holidays. Although I personally think there is something touching about accidentally finding a needle that got under the carpet in July. But if you are a practical person, then buy a decorative cover-mat. Lay it under the Christmas tree, then remove the toys, pull the cover over the Christmas tree and take it out of the apartment. Fast, accurate, painless. Or even easier - again invite the specialists from the "Yolki" to take out the fir tree.

If it's hard for you to say goodbye to your Christmas tree after the New Year holidays, buy a mini Christmas tree in a pot. With proper care, she will live in an apartment for about four years, and then you can plant her in open ground.

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