6 expert tips on how to make a Christmas tree last longer

Handy tricks from those in the know on how to make a Christmas tree last longer

Vikki Savage's renovated 1930s house styled for Christmas
(Image credit: Kasia Fiszer)

You’ve spent money on your festive tree and are now probably wondering how to make a Christmas tree last longer. 

We’ve spoken to three experts for the steps you'll need to take to keep yours in tip-top shape. Our specialists have been buying and caring for Christmas trees for decades, and know exactly how to make a Christmas tree last longer. 

If you’ve spent time choosing the perfect Christmas tree and want to enjoy it till the big day and beyond, our experts have shared six easy steps.

How to make a Christmas tree last longer 

This easy-to-follow guide on how to make a Christmas tree last longer will serve you and your festivities well, slashing the risk of waking up and seeing your once-lovely spruce has given up the (Christmas) ghost.

To stop your tree dropping all its needles, going brown, or otherwise losing its zest for life, our experts have spilled all.

Christmas tree in wicker basket

(Image credit: Getty Images)

1. Buy it fresh

A great starting point is being mindful of where you buy your tree from, and knowing how to pick the right Christmas tree. Understanding how long a Christmas tree should last for will also give you insight into what to expect with each week that passes.

Sarah Ruffalo, Christmas Decorating Expert, says, “If you go to a Christmas tree farm and have one cut down on the spot, that will guarantee the longevity of the tree because it is fresh.”

While store-bought cut Christmas trees can be cheaper, if they haven't been properly hydrated whilst in store, they may not last as long. If in doubt, ask the seller how their trees have been cared for and let that guide you on how long their real Christmas trees will last for.

Sarah Ruffalo
Sarah Ruffalo

Sarah Ruffalo is a Christmas Decorator and teacher of all things Christmas.  Her expertise has graced the pages of prestigious publications, solidifying her status as a go-to authority in the world of holiday decor.

2. Find the perfect spot

Once you've taken the time to choose your Christmas tree, think carefully about where to place it at home. It'll be harder to move and much heavier, once it's all decorated and looking luxurious, so figuring this part of the equation out beforehand will pave the way for great spruce health.

Amelia Thompson, Interior Designer, says, “Place the tree away from heat sources like fireplaces and radiators." This will prevent it drying out as cut trees are super thirsty and prone to dropping needles if they get too hot.

Amelia Thompson
Amelia Thompson

Amelia Thompson is a passionate interior designer and Christmas enthusiast with more than 12 years of experience.

3. Keep it hydrated

An image of a Christmas tree in a living room surrounded by presents

(Image credit: Getty Images)

When working on making your Christmas tree last for as long as you need it to, keeping it properly hydrated is key. It's important to check the water level in your Christmas tree stand each day, with at least two inches of the trunk submerged at any time. If you're prone to forgetting, set a reminder on your phone to alert you at the same time every day.

Thompson adds, “Keep the tree stand filled with water and never let it go dry.”

While you can choose to refill your Christmas tree stand with water every day, it might be easier to pick out a stand that can hold a lot of water (this self-watering Christmas tree stand from Amazon is ideal for this). 


4. Trim the trunk

To allow your Christmas tree to soak up as much water as possible and remain properly hydrated, it's a good idea to give the trunk a trim before placing the tree into the stand. 

Amelia Thompson, Interior designer, says, “Make a fresh cut at the base before setting it up to help it absorb water.”

Steven Perez, Interior Designer, says, “When you first bring the tree home, cut off about half an inch from the bottom of the trunk to help it absorb water better.”

If you're planning on having a real tree every year, you might find it worthwhile investing in a handsaw like this one from Amazon. Otherwise, borrow one from a neighbour, or ask the seller to do it for you before taking the tree home.

Steven Perez
Steven Perez

Steven Perez is an Interior Designer based in Louisiana, and is passionate about home design and decor. 

5. Feed your Christmas tree

A large sized Christmas tree with silver decorations

(Image credit: Canva)

It's easy to assume all you need to do is water your Christmas tree, but if you want to keep it alive for longer, it's worth investing in some Christmas tree feed. Much like other plants in the home, trees love specialised food.

Ruffalo says, “I always purchase Miracle Gro for trees (like these Miracle Gro Christmas tree feeds from Amazon) for clients with live trees. Typically, trees only last 3-4 weeks on their own with water but the Miracle Gro keeps it all season.” 

It's an especially good tip if like us, you can't wait to put your Christmas tree up and bought yours at the very start of the festive season.

6. Increase the humidity

Besides watering at the base of the trunk, you can give your tree a new lease of life by boosting the humidity in your home. It's an easy step to make a Christmas tree last longer. 

Thompson says, “Use a humidifier (like this mini humidifier from Amazon) in the room to help maintain moisture around the tree.”

Simply pop a mini humidifier near your Christmas tree and let the gentle humidity help prevent your Christmas tree from drying out. 


Does sugar help a Christmas tree last for longer?

While there's no hard and fast evidence that using a sugar and water mixture to stand your Christmas tree in helps to prolong its life, it's suggested that the sugar water mix acts as an artificial sap, feeding and nourishing the tree, helping it last longer. 

How much water does a Christmas tree need?

Knowing how much water your Christmas tree needs is essential for ensuring it remains healthy. Perez says, “Keep the tree stand filled with water at all times. Trees can drink up to a gallon of water a day.”  

Naturally, when you spend money on a Christmas tree you want it to last for as long as possible, or at least until after the festivities have come to an end. But knowing how to keep your Christmas tree alive can be a little more tricky than you might think. The good news is you're now armed with our experts' hacks to keep your tree majestic.

Beth Mahoney
Freelance journalist

Hi! I’m Beth Mahoney and I’m a former staff writer at Real Homes. I’ve been a journalist for the national press for the past six years, specializing in commerce and trends-related lifestyle articles, from product reviews and listicles to guides and features. With an eye for pretty things (think: quirky wall prints, scalloped edge furniture, and decadent-looking tableware) but a limited budget, I love nothing more than a bargain buy.