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6 Tips to Keep Your Christmas Tree Looking Fresh

Written by: phs Greenleaf

phs Greenleaf

6 Tips to Keep Your Christmas Tree Looking Fresh

A fresh Christmas tree looks and smells fantastic. Whether it’s at home or work, you’ll want it to stay looking beautiful throughout the festive season while avoiding the dreaded pine needle clear up.  

If it’s your first real Christmas tree, or you want to know the secret to a long-lasting Christmas tree, we’ve got you covered with useful advice for how to keep a Christmas tree alive through to the New Year.  

Keep It Local

Choosing your Christmas tree can be fun and many families make a day of it. If you can, buy from a local grower who’ll harvest the tree there and then, or allow you to cut the tree down yourself. This way, you can avoid a tree that may have been cut up to two weeks earlier and already be drying out.

Purchasing from a local grower will also help you to spread some Christmas cheer by supporting the local economy.

Trim Your Tree

Before you even think about decorating (or trimming) your tree, you must trim it. Confused? No need to be.

If your tree has been cut for more than 3 hours, simply cut straight across, half an inch from the bottom of the trunk, to remove any sap that has started to seal the base. This will help the tree to absorb water more easily and keep needles in place longer.


Water is the secret to a long-lasting, healthy looking, fresh Christmas Tree. As soon as you can, immerse the base of your Christmas tree in water. A bucket will do until you get chance to decorate it.

Most Christmas tree stands contain a water reservoir that will keep the tree hydrated and there’s no need to drill a hole in the base of the trunk to aid absorption.

Get the Drinks In

We all need to keep hydrated over the Christmas period – and your tree is no exception. To prevent branches from drooping and needles from dropping, the base of the cut Christmas tree should never dry out. Check the water level each day and add water regularly.

Horticultural experts say that neither the temperature of the water nor any special additives will help keep the tree any fresher – a regular supply of water is all that’s needed.

Stay Cool

At Christmas time, there’s nothing like cosying up in a welcoming armchair with heating on full blast; or roasting your toes in front of an inviting open fire. We hate to be party poopers, but this will just dry out your Christmas tree.

Even strong sunlight through a window can have a drying effect that’ll cause needles to drop prematurely. And open flames are a big no-no if placed near to a dry fuel source, such as your Christmas tree, especially if you’ve decorated it with potentially flammable goodies and baubles.

Throw Shade

Being kept out of the light isn’t usually a good thing for any plant but in this case, it’s for the best. Turning off Christmas tree lights at night or when leaving the house or office for any period of time not only saves energy but also helps reduce drying out and/or overheating.

Check that your Christmas lights are in good working order before using them on your tree as bald wires and broken bulbs can be a fire hazard. More economical LED bulbs also reduce the risk of fire as they are cooler.

Common questions about Christmas trees 

How long does a real Christmas tree last?

A real Christmas tree should last around five weeks if you care for it properly. Most people pick out their Christmas tree around mid-end of November, so if you stick to this timeline, your tree should last until the New Year.  

The question of how long a real Christmas tree will last depends on factors such as where it’s stored, how often it’s watered and sometimes it’s down to the quality of the tree. Find a stockist that has good reviews and beware of those who might try to rip you off. 

How often to water Christmas tree? 

Real Christmas trees should be watered daily to keep them looking fresh. Aim to give your tree around 500ml a day. Larger trees may require more water. This is especially important during those first couple of weeks to give you tree what it needs to last. 

Can you replant a Christmas tree? 

While you might think a real Christmas tree is a ‘one and done’ purchase, but your tree could actually last longer if you replant it. If you purchase your tree with a root ball still attached, you could replant your tree once Christmas is over. 

While this isn’t possible with a fully cut tree, there is still a chance for you to take a more sustainable approach by planting some cuttings of your tree. This way, you could end up with your own stock of Christmas trees to choose from in years to come. 

What is the best way to recycle a Christmas tree? 

Recycling your Christmas tree is a good way to help the environment, and the good news is that it’s really easy in the UK. Most councils now offer a collection service, turning them into mulch or chippings for local parks, making a fresh Christmas tree the gift that keeps on giving. 

Follow your council’s collection instructions to make sure your tree is collected on time.  

How can I keep pets away from my Christmas tree? 

Pets and Christmas trees don’t mix, and if you want your Christmas tree to last longer, you’ll need to keep them away from each other. Pets can knock trees over, causing damage, and may decide to use the tree as a new toilet! 

You can put barriers around your tree to keep them away, and leave the bottom branches free from ornaments to deter them from playing with them. You can also spray around the tree with some urine deterrents to help them keep their distance.  

What are the signs my Christmas tree is past its best? 

If your Christmas tree is starting to die, the signs will be clear. It will start dropping needles in large volumes, and it may start to turn brown. There are some things you can do to revive your dying Christmas tree, but if it looks like there’s no way to save it, it might be time to recycle it. 

Is a real tree or artificial tree best for my workplace?

Christmas trees are a fantastic way to get the office ready for the festive season. But you may be wondering if you should get a real or artificial tree for your workplace? Real trees require some attention to keep them looking their best and if you look at how to keep a Christmas tree alive above, you’ll see they need regular watering to keep them fresh. 

Artificial trees are a lot less maintenance, so if your workplace operates in a hybrid way or there isn’t someone there all the time, consider switching to an artificial tree instead. 

Get ready for Christmas with phs Greenleaf

At phs Greenleaf, we’re excited about the Christmas season. We’ve got everything you need to help you get your space ready for Christmas, including Christmas tree hire, bespoke displays and more. Our services mean we’ll take care of Christmas décor on your behalf, so you won’t have to worry about how to keep a Christmas tree alive this winter. 

Learn more about our services and get your workplace ready for the festive season with phs Greenleaf. 

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