How long will a fresh christmas tree last

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?


Q: Our family wants to replace our artificial Christmas tree with a real one this year, and the kids want to go tree shopping already. I worry that the tree will dry out before Christmas if we buy it 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: The Best Places to Buy Christmas Trees in 2022

A freshly cut Christmas tree can last about 4 weeks if you take care of it.


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 1 gallon of water for a tree with a four-inch stem) within two hours of getting it home.
  • Learning how to water a Christmas tree properly is mostly just making sure the reservoir in the tree stand doesn’t run dry. Monitor the reservoir’s water level daily, and add more water as needed to keep the bottom 2 inches of trunk submerged. Christmas tree water requirements are usually the highest during the first week the tree is up, and decline in subsequent weeks.

Wondering how to keep a Christmas tree alive and looking its best all season? Heed these tips and tricks:


When shopping for cut Christmas trees, ask the salesperson when the trees were cut down.


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 you’re buying a pre-cut tree, ask when the trees on the lot were felled. Choose one that came down recently (within the week, if possible) so that it preserves its looks through the season.

RELATED: 10 Tips for Cutting Your Own Christmas Tree

Opt for fir or cypress species over spruce or pine.

How long a real Christmas tree lasts varies depending on the specific tree’s evergreen conifer species. Most Christmas trees available at tree farms or local home and garden centers are fir, cypress, pine, or spruce. Fir and cypress tend to keep most of their needles for 4 or 5 weeks, respectively, whereas pine and spruce are more likely to lose a high volume of needles within 2 or 3 weeks, respectively.

Always inspect the tree’s needles before taking it home.

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.

Ask to have the Christmas tree baled before putting it in your car.


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 trunk 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’s trunk before submerging it in water.


If your tree was cut more than 6 to 8 hours ago (ask the attendant at the point of purchase 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.

Lacing Christmas tree water with additives won’t help keep it alive.

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. There’s no need to make sugar water for a Christmas tree, either—plain tap water is all that’s needed to quench your tree’s thirst.

RELATED: 8 Things You Never Knew About Christmas Trees

Keep the tree cool and out of direct sunlight.

To preserve moist needles and the tree’s vivid green hue, situate the tannenbaum indoors, ideally in a room that’s no more than 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The tree should be out of direct sunlight, and kept far from away from a fireplace, radiator, or space heater. The heat from these sources can prematurely dry and brown your tree.

Measure water levels in the stand with 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. Moisture level monitors like the Evergreen Elf, which mount to the tree stand, can automatically detect the water level in the stand. It will light up or send audio signals when the water level is low and let you know it’s time to re-water.


Decorate the tree with 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 may 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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What should be done to keep alive spruce longer? | Q&A | New Year

Olga Zvonova

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes


Category: Holidays

Before you go to the Christmas tree market, think about where you will put the Christmas tree. It is important that it does not occupy areas that are significantly important for the owners, do not interfere with movement and stand far from heating appliances.

How to choose?

If you decide to choose a large tree, remember to measure the height of the ceiling, taking into account the size of the trunk stand. It is also important to decide on the type of coniferous tree that you want to purchase.

At the same time, it is worth remembering that spruce stands the least without dropping needles - a maximum of 10 days. This means that she may not “survive” until the Old New Year. Pine retains freshness on average 12-14 days, fir - 14 days.

It is easier to choose a Christmas tree in the daytime, as you will be able to see all the flaws in the tree. Pay attention, first of all, to the trunk of the Christmas tree: it must be clean, without fungi or mold, and also without mechanical damage. Try to clasp it with your index and thumb - with a spruce height of 1.5 meters, the trunk should be 5-8 cm, the tree should weigh at least 7 kg.

Do not forget to inspect and cut the trunk: a dark border on the butt indicates that the Christmas tree spent more than one day at the market stand.

The color of the needles should be natural, bright, but a yellowish or grayish tint indicates that the tree may be infected with some kind of disease. Also, yellowness is characteristic of needles on a tree that was cut down a long time ago, which means it will last you less.

If the lower branches seem brittle, then the tree is already dry and will not stand for a long time. On the contrary: in the event that the resinous twigs bend, and do not break, the tree was cut down quite recently.


Take note : pine branches are the least plastic, spruce branches are more plastic, and fir is considered the most flexible.

Check the needles for "stability" - squeeze gently in the palm of your hand and see if they remain in your hand. Grasp the trunk and lightly tap on the ground - needles will begin to fall from a tree that was cut down a long time ago.

Tear off a few needles from one of the branches and rub them between your fingers: a specific aroma and slight oiliness on the palms will be another proof that the tree is freshly cut.

If you use a car for transport, make sure that the tree fits in the passenger compartment and does not interfere with the driver, so as not to provoke an accident. Large Christmas trees are not recommended to be transported on the roof of the car. German experts conducted a crash test of a car with a tree tied to the trunk. Tests have shown that as a result of a collision, a tree trunk can slide off the roof and become a battering ram for a vehicle or pedestrian in front. Therefore, so that the spruce does not turn into a deadly projectile, you need to use special belts.

Generally speaking, the safest way is to buy a small tree and carry it home on foot.

Christmas tree in a pot

If you are sorry to part with the green beauty after the New Year holidays, you can buy a Christmas tree in a container. It will not be difficult to land it on a personal plot in a country house or in a forest. When buying such a spruce, ask them to take it out and look at the roots: together with the earth, they should form a dense lump that can be easily removed and does not crumble. If the spruce was planted in a container immediately before the sale, then its roots will be chopped off, or they will be clean, without soil. It is better to refuse to buy such a tree, it is unlikely to take root on the site.


Christmas tree rental

Another interesting idea for the New Year is to rent a live Christmas tree. The principle of such an offer is simple - you rent a living tree that is placed in the ground, and then, after the holidays, return it back, and it is planted again in the ground. A similar idea is practiced in America, in particular, the client can order an already decorated Christmas tree or any other festively decorated tree. In Russia, an IKEA store offers a similar service: you buy a small coniferous tree and you can return it after the holidays; half of the amount paid for the Christmas tree is returned.

How to prolong the life of a Christmas tree

If you buy a Christmas tree a few days before you are going to decorate, be sure to put it on the balcony. It would be better to put it in a bucket of water, in which you can add an aspirin tablet and a tablespoon of sugar.

Saw off about 2 cm of the trunk from the base of the tree before placing the tree in the stand. The lower part of the trunk can be clogged with resin and resins that stand out at the cut, which will prevent the absorption of water. A fresh cut will allow the tree to absorb liquid better. The cut must be made at a right angle.

Do not cut the trunk in a V-shape, as the tree will not hold well in the stand and absorb water. Drilling holes in the base of the barrel will also not improve liquid absorption.

The trunk should also be cleared of the lowest branches, and small cuts should be made at the bottom of the trunk, or the bark should be stripped to facilitate the absorption of moisture.

It is better to put the Christmas tree in a bucket filled with sand, and pour water over it with sugar and aspirin dissolved in it. In this case, it will stand longer than in a conventional stand. Before you start decorating, you can sprinkle the branches with water from a spray bottle to “refresh” the tree a little.

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