5 tips to make your Christmas tree last longer

Easy instructions for getting the most life out of your fresh tree
Loading the player...

There’s nothing like the beautiful pine fresh aroma given off by a real tree to say “it’s Christmas”. But even before you buy a tree, it’s important to understand that it will require a little bit of care to last the distance to Christmas Day.

You’ve done the hard yards on choosing the perfect tree, struggled it into your car and you’re about to stand it proudly in your home to be adorned with your favourite decorations. The last thing you want, after making all that effort, is for it to become dehydrated and droopy.

Here are five things you can do to make a real Christmas tree stay fresh for longer.

Real Christmas tree decorated with coastal style baubles
Selecting a tree that is freshly cut to begin with is crucial. (Credit: Photography: Cath Muscat | Styling: Stephanie Powell)

1. Choose carefully

Selecting a Christmas tree is much like buying fresh flowers or fruit and vegetables. It’s important to assess the freshness right from the start. To do this, feel the pine needles for lush flexibility and give them a tug to ensure they’re not already coming away from the branches. Inspect the base for a stem that’s still a little fleshy. This will indicate that the tree has only just been cut.

2. Safe passage

Prepare ahead for how to transport your tree home. Clear a roomy space in your car, have it delivered or borrow a vehicle large enough to fit a tree in favour of strapping it to the roof for the journey home. No matter how cool it looks on the road, wind wreaks havoc on the branches and will dry out and damage your tree before you can enjoy it.

Paper decorations on a real Christmas tree
Transporting the tree on a windy day can wreak havoc on the branches. (Credit: Photography: Lisa Cohen |

3. Water the base

Like a cut flower, there is still benefit in providing a water source at the base of your tree to extend its life in your home. Trim the trunk with a hand saw to create a fresh cut to take up the water and fill your base, stand or bucket with a small supply to be topped up every few days.

4. Location, location, location

Options may be few for where to place your tree in your home but if possible, choose a spot where it wont be in direct sunlight or right under an air-conditioning unit. If you prefer to have your tree front and centre in a bay window, be prepared for the foliage to become a little fried and your tree to wither sooner.

Girl decorating a coastal style Christmas tree
A tree placed near a window may wilt faster than a tree placed out of direct sunlight. (Credit: Photography: Cath Muscat | Styling: Stephanie Powell)

5. Have fun

Decorating a tree can be one of the most enjoyable rituals of Christmas so set aside time to enjoy it with your family or friends. A nice way to come together and begin the Christmas cheer, make an afternoon or evening of it and ask the kids to help.

Related stories