If you're getting your Christmas tree this weekend, here are five tips on how to keep it alive through December:
1. Make sure the cut is fresh. Once the tree is cut down, the sap starts sealing the cut within hours, making it hard to soak up water. So once you've picked out your tree at a lot or farm, get at least a quarter inch cut off the bottom.
2. Soak the tree overnight. If possible, don't bring your tree inside right away. Instead, soak it in a big bucket of water overnight. Then the next day, hose it down to add more moisture and to get rid of any dead needles. Let it dry before bringing it inside though.
3. Pick a good spot in your house. You'll want to keep your tree away from any sources of heat, including fireplaces, furnace vents, direct sunlight, or candles, which will just dry out the branches and create a fire hazard.
4. Get the right stand. According to the Department of Entomology at Penn State University, choose a base that can hold one quart of water per inch of stem diameter. If that's too much math, a stand that holds at least a gallon of water should be fine.
5. Water it daily. Refill the base with fresh water every single day. And you can skip those additives that some people say extend the life of your tree. If you follow these tips, your tree should last around four weeks with just water.