How to Water a Christmas Tree

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Gather Tools and Materials

I always make sure that I have these essential tools in my gardening arsenal:
1. Trowel: A reliable trowel is a must-have. It’s the most important tool for any gardener.
2. Hand Fork: This handy tool helps me break up clumps of soil and work amendments into the ground, especially in closely planted areas.
3. Hoe: My long-handled hoe is my best friend when it comes to keeping weeds at bay.
4. Hand pruners: Investing in a good pair of pruners has made trimming back larger plants so much easier for me.
5. Watering Can: I prefer a watering can that releases a gentle and even stream of water, so it doesn’t disrupt the soil or harm delicate seedlings.
6. Fork: An essential tool for dividing perennials and carrying out various dividing methods.
7. Shovel: The sharper the shovel, the better it is for digging.
8. Wheelbarrow: Indispensable for hauling soil, compost, plants, mulch, hoses, and all the other gardening essentials.
9. Gloves: I find that leather gloves are the best for protecting my hands, especially if I have to deal with thorny plants like roses.
10. Hose: The fastest way to transport a large amount of water from the source to my garden.

And don’t forget about these supplies:
1. Soil or seed-starter mix
2. Slow-release fertilizer
3. Compost (for outdoor gardens)
4. Worms (for outdoor gardens)
5. Planter Containers (Get creative! You can use milk cartons, pop bottles for indoor containers, and recycled materials like old sinks, toilets, or reclaimed wood pallets for outdoor containers.)
6. Landscaping cloth (coffee filters can work for indoor gardens)
7. Seeds or seedlings
8. Small tags or signs to identify plants


Adding Water to the Tree Stand

Place the tree in a bucket of warm water until you are ready to set it up

When storing the tree for a few days, place it in a bucket and water it by keeping the cut end of the trunk submerged. Remember to check the water level daily to ensure the tree remains hydrated. For optimal results, keep the tree in a cool and shaded area like a garage to prevent it from drying out.

Read more: Black Friday Christmas trees deals

How to Water a Christmas Tree


Cut 1⁄2 in (1.3 cm) off of the bottom of the tree to eliminate sap.

If your tree has been without water for 6 to 8 hours, it’s necessary to trim the cut end. The tree can be cut straight across, removing no less than 1⁄2 in (1.3 cm). By doing this, you eliminate the sap that covers the cut and hinders water absorption. Pre-cut trees also require trimming to get rid of the sap. If you live within 3 hours of the tree dealer, you can ask them to make the cut when you purchase the tree.

How to Water a Christmas Tree


Measure your tree stand to get a tree that fits it

Some stands have metal parts that won’t fit wider trunks securely, creating an issue. If the tree doesn’t fit, it might not reach the water in the stand. It’s not advisable to shave the trunk with a saw as it can harm water absorption. If you’re left with no choice, you can give it a try, but it’s best to avoid it if possible.

How to Water a Christmas Tree


Select a deep stand that holds enough water for the tree’s size

Selecting a deep stand that can accommodate enough water for the size of the tree is crucial. As a general guideline, a Christmas tree requires 4 cups (950 mL) of water for every 1 inch (2.5 cm) of its diameter. On average, the tree needs approximately 16 cups (3,800 mL) of water per day. It is important to check the stand to ensure it has enough depth to hold the necessary amount of water.

Keep in mind that wider trees will require more water, so this should be taken into consideration when choosing a tree.

How to Water a Christmas Tree


Fill the stand with plenty of water

The tree’s branches need to be lifted to access the stand. Use a watering can, bucket, cup, or something similar to add water directly to the stand. Just make sure the water level is well above the bottom edge of the trunk.

– It doesn’t matter what temperature the water is – cold, warm, or hot are all fine for Christmas trees.
– To make it easier, you can try using a funnel. For example, glue a few PVC pipes together and place a funnel on top.
– Another option is to use a watering system that provides extra water capacity to the stand. Make sure to fill the stand with plenty of water.

How to Water a Christmas Tree


Avoid adding substances to the tree’s water

Adding substances to the tree’s water is unnecessary. Tap water is sufficient for a Christmas tree. In fact, additives like flame-resistant chemicals and water-holding gels might even hinder water absorption.

– Various home remedies, such as sprinkling sugar or using commercial preservatives, are unproven and unnecessary expenses.
– With proper care, a quality Christmas tree can last for a month or longer.

How to Water a Christmas Tree


Monitoring Water Usage

Check the water level daily and fill the stand up as needed.

Check the water level daily and fill the stand up as needed. To prevent the tree from drying out, make sure the water level remains above the cut portion of the trunk.

How to Water a Christmas Tree


Touch the needles to see if they feel dry and fragile

Touch the needles to check if they feel dry and fragile. If they easily fall off the branches without resistance and break easily, it indicates that your tree isn’t absorbing enough water.
– Make sure to monitor the water level in the stand and consider trimming the bottom of the tree if sap is a concern.
– If the tree remains dry and doesn’t improve, remove it from the house immediately to eliminate the risk of fire.

How to Water a Christmas Tree


Use a humidifier to provide more moisture to your tree

Use a humidifier to provide additional moisture to your tree. Set it up in the same room as the tree and allow it to run. The humidifier will release moisture onto the tree’s needles, preventing them from drying out. Keep in mind that a humidifier is not a replacement for regular watering; ensure you check and refill the tree’s stand frequently.

How to Water a Christmas Tree


Move the tree away from heat sources to prevent water loss

To prevent water loss, it is important to move the tree away from heat sources. Heat sources in your home can dry out the tree’s branches and the water in the stand.
– It is recommended to keep the tree out of direct sunlight and away from heaters and fans as much as possible. Dry trees not only dry out faster but also pose a fire risk.

How to Water a Christmas Tree


Turn off the lights in the room to keep the tree cool and dry

Turning off the lights in the room helps to keep the Christmas tree cool and prevents it from drying out. The decorations directly on the branches are a bigger concern compared to other light sources in the room. Strands of lights can generate a lot of heat, which causes the tree to lose water and dry out faster.
– To preserve water, it’s advisable to limit the usage of lights and opt for newer LED decorations that consume less electricity and emit less heat.

How to Water a Christmas Tree


Christmas Tree Watering Tips

Different types of trees have varying lifespans. Firs and white pines, known for their longevity, are commonly chosen as Christmas trees. Regardless of the type you choose, watering should be done in the same way.

Drilling holes or reducing the width of the tree trunk will not enhance its water absorption. Instead, adjust the tree stand as necessary. Position the tree so that the cut end is immersed in water.



Dry trees can be dangerous when it comes to fires. So, make sure to keep an eye on your tree’s water level to reduce any risk. If your tree starts to dry out, it’s a good idea to remove it as soon as possible

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