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How To Care for a Fresh Christmas Tree

How to Care for a Fresh Christmas Tree and How To Unbox One if You Need To Know That, Too!


This year our family had a chance to enjoy a Real, Fresh Cut Christmas Tree for the first time but before my tree arrived I did some research to find out how to care for a fresh Christmas tree.

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First, I'll tell you all the details about the tree.  Everyone in my family was so excited to get it....to be honest, I was shocked.  I thought I was the only one that had this longing deep within.  I'm being a bit dramatic but I have wanted a Fresh Cut Christmas Tree for years I tell you....years!  

I was contacted by Green Valley Christmas Trees about receiving one and sharing it with my readers in an unboxing video and I said yes....before, of course, asking my family who would be in the video....not me....I'm the video taker....not the person in the videos.  But, I digress!

I was contacted and said YES!!! I ordered a Fraser Fir tree and then I told my family.  

At first, they were a little cranky but then each admitted they were really excited about it and once the tree arrived, yep, I did not have to go to a tree lot, pick a tree, tie it to my roof, cry about sap on my car and then drive home and haul it up the steps with needles being dragged the entire way.  

My beauty arrived via FedEx in a box.  My oldest son brought it up the steps for me and put it in the corner where it would be unboxed and decorated.  

You can check out the easy unboxing below...

I was worried it would be hard but it was super easy with the tips I've included in the video.

How to Care for a Fresh Christmas Tree from Home with Cupcakes and Crinoline
If you did get a fresh cut Christmas tree and you're wondering how to clean up the mess from the needles, I share some great tips plus a short video on exactly how to get rid of pesky needles! Try to ignore the polka dot pants and the plaid slippers...I am quite the glamorous homemaker for sure 😉 

 Now, How To Care for Your Fresh Cut Christmas Tree

First things first - prepping the tree


Once you bring your tree home cut at least an inch off the bottom of the tree.  Make it a clean cut, straight across so that your tree will sit properly in the tree stand.  

If you are ordering a tree online (like the one below which is from Green Valley Christmas Trees) once you get the bottom of the box cut off (see video below), before completing the unboxing do the above, cutting off an inch from the bottom of your tree.  

If you aren't sure when your tree was cut, you may want to cut several inches off.  When my tree was ordered I received an email to let me know the date it was cut and I received the tree 2 days later so I knew it was very fresh and I didn't need to cut off that much.

Give The Tree Time to Relax



The above is what the tree looked like when we first got it unwound but......the next morning this is what it looked like. Nice and fluffy. It just needed some room to breathe and some time to unwind.

Tree Removal Bag

A tree skirt and removal bag came packed with my tree but in case yours doesn't buy one.  I wasn't sure about it but my sister, my go-to expert for life, let me know that I should put it beneath the tree stand to catch needles when I am taking the tree down and to easily bag the tree to get it out of the house.

Why a good tree stand is important


Make sure you get a tree stand for a real tree, not an artificial tree.  Also, make sure the stand will hold the size of tree you ordered.  

I bought a stand for a real tree but it was a nightmare!

We had the tree firmly secured in the stand and had it thoroughly watered.  I completely decorated the tree (it looked so pretty) and just a few minutes later I heard a noise and the tree started to fall over.  I grabbed it about halfway down to the floor.  

We got the tree back up, added some wood to the areas where the screws were to further brace it and all seemed to be good.  The next morning I woke up, decorated the tree, and then went into the kitchen to start cleaning.  

I heard a noise....the tree fell again except this time all the way down.  All of the water drained out of the stand and there were ornaments everywhere.  I just about cried.  I got my husband, he helped me pick up the tree, and this time we propped it up against the wall.  

Poor tree....I was getting worried about it!


My oldest son was out so I asked him to stop by Lowe's and get another tree stand.  He asked around, got a totally different stand than the one we had and came home.  

To be extra safe we screwed the stand onto a piece of scrap wood.  It has been several days and it has held up beautifully (thankfully!).  

My suggestion would be that you make sure to get a tree stand with holes already in it so you can screw it down and secure it.


As a side note, I didn't put any of my vintage glass ornaments on the tree....I just had a feeling and I am so glad that I didn't especially with it falling.  They, in all likelihood, would not have survived.

Watering the tree

For the first watering, use warm water to help break up the sap and be sure to fill your tree stand - not so that it splashed over but so that your tree has enough water.  

You do not want your tree to dry out.  The first night our tree was up it drank almost all the water in the stand and had to be watered again twice the next day.  

After almost a week I water it once every morning and check again in the evening just to top it off.  

I don't have a tree funnel but I've heard they are a convenient way to keep your tree watered.  

They have them at Home Depot for less than $5.00.  This year, I'm using a small watering can I have for my houseplants.  I have to fill it up a few times but it's no biggie!

Clean Up

Your hands may be a little stick and have some sap (pitch) on them at this point.  Soap and water will not get this all off so after washing your hands thoroughly try using some hand lotion or Vaseline to remove any remaining sap.

Lighting your tree


Use good quality lights that give off a minimal amount of heat or NO heat.  Heat will not only dry your tree out but it can be dangerous.  

Always, always, always, unplug your lights at night and when you aren't home.  I have some vintage bubble lights that get extremely hot so they are NOT on my tree this year.

Keep Your Tree Away from Heat

To make your tree last longer keep it away from heat sources-heat vents, room heaters, etc.  The cooler your tree is kept the longer it will stay fresh.

Stop back Christmas Week (or hopefully many more times before then) for my tips for what to do with your tree once you're done with it!



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  1. Mary Beth, your tree is BEAUTIFUL!!!
    Last year I received a tree from Green Valley Christma Trees too. It was wonderful and lasted beautifully to New Years. AND... I also bought that SAME tree stand!!!!! That is just too funny. But... it's a fabulous stand and well worth the investment.
    Merry Christmas!!!!!

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Thank you, Diane! I was crabby about having to buy another stand but what matters is that it is working so I'm grateful for that! Merry Christmas to you and yours! xo

  2. Christine says:

    Oh I am so sorry your first tree stand couldn't stand up to what it needed to do. That would have had me in tears too! But your perseverance has paid off because it looks amazing! Thanks for the great tips. Thanks for sharing this at the DI & DI Link party. We hope you found some new friends and had fun.

    Merry Christmas!

    1. Mary Beth says:

      Thank you so much, Christine, and a very Merry Christmas to you as well.