How Often Should I Water My Christmas Tree?
Want to keep that Christmas tree smell in your house throughout the holiday season?
Then you’ll want to know how often to water your Christmas tree.
A healthy Christmas tree is a well-hydrated tree.
Unfortunately, it only takes a day or two of missing out on watering for it to dry out. You might also be surprised to learn what not to put in Christmas tree water.
The minute you haul your tree off the lot, it’ll take some tending to if you want it to last up to a month. With a little TLC, you can keep your tree green for all those photos and gatherings you’re planning through the holidays.
Check out the following advice on how often to water your Christmas tree:
Prepare Your Tree For Optimum Health
With a few easy steps, you can keep your most high-maintenance Christmas decor alive for your household to enjoy through the holidays. Preparation of your tree prior to hanging ornaments is a key piece of ensuring it stays healthy throughout the holiday season. A few prep tips to try:
- Choose the right stand - The stand should fit your tree, not the other way around. Don’t shave the outer bark off the bottom of the tree to make it fit.
- Big trees need more water - Make sure your tree has a large enough reservoir to hold 1 quart of water per inch of diameter. That’s about a gallon for most trees.
- Fresh is best - If the tree has been cut longer than 12 hours, cut a quarter inch off the bottom before placing in stand.
- Don’t use a v-cut - At the base of the tree, a flat cut is better for both stability and water absorption. This reduces the amount of water the tree base absorbs.
Maintain proper H2O levels - Make sure the water level is above the base of the tree at all times.
- Check water levels often - You will probably need to add water daily for at least the first week as fresh cut trees can absorb a gallon of water a day!
A Hydrated Tree is the Secret
Trees love water, and your Christmas tree is no exception. Keep those pine needles from falling off too early by keeping your tree hydrated. If you’re prone to forget, consider investing in a Christmas tree watering system. Wondering what to put in Christmas tree water? The answer is nothing!
A few other notes on keeping your tree healthy:
Store your tree properly - If you store your tree before putting it in the stand, keep the trunk in water and in a cool area.
Add water - As soon as the tree is in the stand, fill up the reservoir. Make sure the water level is always above the base of the tree.
No drilling necessary - Trees don’t gain health benefits from drilling holes in the bottom of the trunk, according to the National Christmas Tree Association.
Avoid damaging sources - Keep the tree away from heat sources, drafts, and direct sunlight to reduce drying.
Turn off tree lights overnight - Lights can get hot and cause drying or even a fire.
- No preservatives required - Believe it or not, there’s no Christmas tree water recipe to make your tree stay greener longer. Plain water works just fine. Adding preservatives and other additives to the tree water has not been shown to be beneficial.
Monitor and Maintain Your Evergreen
There’s no denying it takes a bit of work to learn how to take care of a live Christmas tree, but it’s all worth it for that Christmassy smell, right? By cutting the tree closer to Christmas, you’re more likely to have it last well past the holiday.
Protect your tree and minimize the needles mess by:
- Avoiding retardants - Don’t use flame retardants on fresh trees as this can increase dryness. One study by the American Society for Horticultural Science found retardants can actually make your tree more flammable in some cases.
- Keeping it cool - If possible, keep the room where your Christmas tree is a bit cooler. It will help extend the life of your tree.
- Checking the needles for dryness - If the needles break off easily when you run your fingers down the branch, it’s time to say goodbye to your Christmas centerpiece.
As tempting as it may be to research what to put in Christmas tree water, we promise, there’s nothing better than regular water for your tree. No additives. No preservatives. Just good old water to keep it healthy and green all season long.
Want more tips? You can read more about how to take care of a live Christmas tree here.