Get Your Christmas Tree Early and Keep it Alive

Written by:
Tips

Go get your tree right now! Seriously. It’s December 1st, Christmas is 24 days away, and you can make this work. If you’re skeptical (and I used to be) then keep reading and I’ll teach you what you need to know to start early each year and keep your Christmas tree alive until the New Year.

What’s wrong with waiting?

Nothing. If you don’t want a Christmas tree in your house until a few days before Christmas, then more power to ya. I’ve met some people who have a family tradition of buying and decorating their tree on Christmas Eve. If that’s what floats your boat, then that’s fine.

But you should know that there are benefits to having a tree early.

The benefits to starting early

Andrew carrying a christmas tree

My first real tree (which I kept alive 5 full weeks)

For one, who doesn’t love the Christmas season? You know you start listening to Christmas music right after Thanksgiving – so why not start decorating your tree too? A house with that Christmas feel is super desirable to come home to.

You’ll also get the smell of the tree for the whole month. That is reason enough for me.

Reasons for a Scrooge

Okay so you’re not buying into all these feelings. No worries, I’ve got some points even the Scroogiest of McDucks can appreciate.

  1. You’ll get a better selection of trees if you go to the lot early. You don’t want to dish out your hard-earned money for a crappy tree, do you?
  2. Since most people wait until the last minute, your best chance of avoiding crowds is to go early. Why deal with people if you don’t absolutely have to, Scrooge?
  3. And possibly the most important reason of all (to a Scrooge at least) is the cost. When the time is dwindling, and the stock is thinning, the prices go up. This is retail, baby. You better get a tree while its cheap – so go now!!

christmas trees with lights

Keep your Christmas tree alive from Thanksgiving to the New Year!!!

So I’ve convinced you to get your tree early but you’re nervous. I understand. I felt the same way until I learned these rules for a successful December with a live Christmas tree.

But what about the cons?

Let’s briefly touch on the reasons most people avoid getting a tree early.

  • It will die.
  • It’s gonna die.
  • There’s no way it will make it a whole month alive inside my house.
  • Every time I buy a tree it dies.
  • Death scares me.
  • Please don’t let my tree die.
  • Mommy?

So how do I keep a Christmas tree alive a whole month?

Almost all of the time, when a tree dies in less than four weeks, it’s because one of these rules wasn’t followed. Here’s how to keep your tree alive until the New Year.

Rule #1 – Cut (at least) 1/4-inch off the bottom of the tree

Many people are aware that you’re supposed to make a fresh cut to the trunk when getting your tree. But even those people don’t always get it right.

Why should I cut it?
Because as soon as a tree is cut, sap starts to ooze out and seal the wound. This helps keep the moisture in and the tree green longer. Put the tree in water immediately after cutting it and the sap won’t be a problem.

What do people get wrong?
You generally only have 15 minutes or less to get your freshly cut tree in water until the sap takes over. But since the workers at a tree lot will ask if you’d like a fresh cut before you take your tree home, many people don’t get the timing right and they put up a sealed tree that can’t drink enough water and will wither away in no time at all.

Rule #2 – Water your tree regularly

This one should be obvious. Don’t let your tree go without water! Most of the time, when a tree dies early, it’s because it wasn’t watered properly.

Remember, Rule #1 comes back in play if your tree ever runs out of water. So keep your stand full of water so you don’t have to take the tree down to give it another fresh cut.

Rule #3 – Keep your tree comfortable

Your Christmas tree will become vibrant and smell great in your warm and cozy home. But don’t let it get too hot. Not only is it a fire hazard for a tree to be near a heat source, but even if your tree doesn’t catch fire, it will certainly die.

When picking a spot for your Christmas tree, consider temperature before anything else. The cooler the location, the better. Next to a window is ideal if you keep your thermostat set extra warm. But don’t put the tree anywhere near a heating vent or radiator. This will dry the tree out, killing it and putting your house at risk.

decorated christmas tree alive inside

You can do this!

Fresh cut trees do just fine outside with no water – but only for about a week. This is mostly due to the protective sap coating and the cool weather. Once inside, it’s up to you to keep them looking their best.

If these three rules aren’t followed, your tree will die quickly. But now that you know them, you can be sure to come out of December with a living tree that made your whole family happy.

Got any more tips?

Share your best Christmas tree tips in the comments below. And Merry Christmas, you old Scrooge!

  • Barbara Miguelez

    Thanks for the tips! My favorite tip is to decorate the top of the tree before you place it in the stand. I can never get close enough to hang the ornaments or strings of lights, even with a ladder. So so easy to do it this way!

    • Andrew Miguelez

      Wow, I never thought of that. That’s a really good idea. Thanks for sharing!