How Often To Water Your Christmas Tree
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How Often to Water Your Christmas Tree

Is there anything better than the smell of a fresh Christmas tree during the holidays? Fragrant pine needles, twinkling lights, and all the ornaments — Christmas trees make the holidays just a little more magical!

When it comes to keeping real Christmas trees fresh, there’s a bit of care involved; namely, the water mustn’t dry out. Follow along and learn about the basic guidelines for Christmas tree care. From how often to water your tree, how much water it needs, and more.

How Often Should You Water Your Christmas Tree?

Gloved hands using a saw to cut branches at the bottom of the Christmas tree for installation in a plastic stand. Preparing for the New Year. Close-up.
Image credits: Koldunov Alexey via Shutterstock

Water your real Christmas tree every single day. Once you purchase your fresh-cut tree, put it in water as soon as possible. The longest you can keep a cut tree out of water is 12 hours; however, placing the tree in water right away is best. From there, it’s important to check the water level daily to ensure the tree doesn’t dry out. 

The water level cannot drop below the tree trunk base. If it does, this will cause dried sap to form over the cut end of the tree, which stops the tree from drinking water. If this happens, you’ll have to take your tree down and make another cut on its trunk, at least 1 inch wide. Doing so can be a big hassle if you already have the tree set up and decorated!

Pro Tip: After purchasing, always make a fresh cut on your tree trunk before placing it into its stand. This allows the tree to absorb more water and last longer.

How Much Water Does a Christmas Tree Need and What Kind?

Male hand pouring water into the plastic stand for decorated organic Christmas tree from a plastic bottle in New Year eve in the city flat
Image credits: Georgy Dzyura via Shutterstock

Christmas trees need a lot of water to stay fresh in your home during winter. Keep your Christmas tree in a stand that can hold at least a gallon of water. When you set up your tree, it can drink up to an entire gallon in the first 24 hours. In general, expect it to drink about 1 quart per diameter of the stem during the first seven days.

Afterward, your tree will still need 1 or more quarts each day, however how much water it drinks will change daily. You can determine if the tree is dry and needs more water based on its appearance, look for dry needles that easily fall off. Regular watering keeps the trees’ needles looking fresh and prevents needle drop, so top up the water daily. 

A common question many ask is what kind of water to use for Christmas trees. You should only water your Christmas tree with tap or filtered water. Some say that adding sugar, honey, or molasses to the water will help the tree stay fresh for longer, but this has proven to be false. In fact, additives make the needles fall off faster and limit how much water the tree retains.

How Long Will a Real Christmas Tree Last?

christmas tree with ornaments
Image credits: Karolina Grabowska via Pexels

When purchasing a real Christmas tree, there are a few things to remember so the tree lasts throughout the holiday season. The most important thing is choosing a healthy tree. Do this by checking the color of the tree and the needles. A healthy tree should be a vibrant dark green color and have a fragrant smell. Avoid any trees that appear dull or faded, have a musty smell, or seem to lose a lot of needles when you touch them.

Even when adequately watered, real trees will eventually dry out over time. Christmas trees typically last three to four weeks, but this will depend on how you care for them. Daily watering to ensure they don’t dry out is the best way to keep your tree lasting longer. Another option is to spray your tree with an anti-desiccant which is typically made of a mixture of pine oil and water. This type of spray applies a wax-coating to the needles which preserves the trees’ foliage and helps slow down moisture loss.

Pro Tip: Keep your real tree away from your fireplace, furnace, wood stove or heater to prevent it from drying out faster. Keeping your tree away from heat prolongs its life and prevents fire hazards.

‘Tis The Season!

Bring the holiday magic to life this year with a real Christmas tree! Christmas trees are easy to care for, and with a regular watering routine, they’ll be sure to last throughout the entire holiday season.

Do you have any tree-watering tips or tricks? Leave a comment down below with your experience. And, share this article with friends and family so they can enjoy their tree too!