Garden Advice

How to Care for a Real Christmas Tree | Easy to Follow Tips

Decorating a Christmas tree is one of the most fun parts of the holiday. It can only be made better by placing the topper on a real one. However, live trees require more maintenance than artificial ones. So, how do you take care of a real Christmas tree? Keep reading to find out.

Table of Contents:

If you have ever:

  • Bought a real Christmas tree;
  • Wondered how to safely transport your conifer;
  • Searched for tips on how to care for your tree,

Then this article will answer your questions!

Choosing the right Christmas tree

The most popular type of Christmas tree in the UK is the Nordmann Fir. Why? Well, first of all, it’s pretty to look at, thanks to it’s glossy, thick needles which are dark green on top and bluish green underneath. The Nordman Fir is also easy to care for, as it holds onto its needles longer compared to other varieties of Christmas trees. And to top it all off, it’s an unscented tree with soft needles, which makes it very child and pet friendly.

Transporting the Christmas tree

After having selected and bought the perfect Christmas tree, it’s time to take it home. Transporting your tree properly can help you keep it in good shape and avoid any damages that the car ride home might cause. Here is what you need to do: Wrap the tree – tarp or a blanket will do just fine. The reason for wrapping your Christmas tree is simple: it’s to protect it against the wind.

The wind can not only dry out the tree but can also break some of the needles if you’re driving at a higher speed. The cover will shield the gentle foliage from any damage if you’re transporting the Christmas tree on top of your car. It will also spare the paint from scratches, otherwise you will need a car detailing service to remedy the damages.

  1. Protect the tree.
    Having the Christmas tree netted can prevent the branches from getting damaged and the needles from falling out. It also makes it more compact and easier to transport. You can also wrap the tree in a tarp or a blanket for extra protection.
  2. If you want to tie the tree on top of the car, point the base forward.
    It’s always best to transport the tree inside the car. However, if it doesn’t fit and you need to mount it on top, point the tree base forward with the top pointing back. This will prevent the wind from causing any damage to the branches and needles.
  3. If you are moving the tree inside the vehicle, avoid turning on the heating.
    High temperatures can dry out the needles and shorten your tree’s lifespan.

Unpack the tree as soon as you get home. By doing this you prevent fungus and mould from growing on the damp branches.

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How to Store a Christmas Tree Before Bringing it in The House

Note that real Christmas trees need a little time to adjust to the temperature changes before being brought inside. Here is what you need to do before you decide to bring the plant inside:

  1. Unwrap the tree and give it a good shake.
    This will get rid of any hibernating pests and weakened needles.
  2. Cut off about 1 inch from the trunk and place the tree in water.
    When cut, sap seeps out of the tree trunk and seals it over. This can prevent the tree from absorbing water, so you need to cut off a part of the trunk. Make the cut perpendicular to the base with the help of a panel saw. Place the tree in water immediately.
  3. Keep the tree in a cool, dry environment.
    To prevent the tree from drying out, keep it in a basement or a garage away from sunlight.

Provided it’s in the right conditions, a cut Christmas tree can last up to a month.

How to Set Up Your Christmas Tree in a Stand

The time has come to mount your new Christmas tree on its stand and move it into the house. Here is how to do it:

  1. Check the trunk base.
    If the base has sealed over, make another cut of about the same thickness. Again, make the cut perpendicular to the base. Do not cut into a v-shape or at an angle. Having a straight cut will make securing the tree easier and allow it to absorb water better.
  2. Find a stand that fits your tree trunk.
    There is no point in trying to make your tree fit into a smaller stand. Don’t whittle the sides! The outer layer is what absorbs the most water and damaging it can impact that. Measure the size of the trunk and the stand and get a larger one if necessary. This will ensure your tree is getting the right amount of water, as the right size stand will also have the right size water container. As for how to water your Christmas tree, simply pour water into the tree’s stand-tank.
  3. Place the tree on the stand.
    Make sure the tree is standing straight. Place it on the stand and fill the container with water immediately. Let the tree rest for a few hours or overnight to allow the branches to fall into their original position.

How to Look after Your Real Christmas Tree

Now that you have brought the tree into the house and set it up, you need to make sure you take good care of it. Real trees require regular maintenance to keep fresh, much like a vase of freshly cut flowers. Here are some tips on how to care for your Christmas tree.

Caring for Cut Trees

  • Place the tree away from heat sources.
    Heat is your Christmas tree’s biggest enemy. Place it away from any radiators, air conditioners or fireplaces. Be wary of Christmas lights as well. If possible, use LED ones.
  • Water your Christmas tree regularly
    A freshly cut tree can consume up to 4 litres of water in the first 24 hours! And if you’re wondering how often to water your Christmas tree, the answer is once a day. This will prevent branch drooping and dehydration.
  • Check for sap leakage.
    You may need to check occasionally if any sap has leaked and clean it up to avoid getting it on your furnishings and surroundings.

Caring for Potted Trees

  • Always check if the pot has good drainage.
    This will reduce the risk of overwatering your tree. As with houseplants, too much or too little water can damage the tree.
  • Bring the tree inside as late as possible to reduce stress on the needles.
    If you have decided on a potted tree, you should keep it outside to keep it fresh. Ideally, bring it inside the weekend before Christmas.
  • Place the tree away from heat sources.
    As with cut trees, heat can damage your potted conifer’s needles. Display it in a cold room or keep it as far away from heat sources as you can.
You may also like:
Garden Advice
How to Look After a Pot-Grown Christmas Tree Before, During and After Holidays

Do you need to feed a Christmas tree anything aside from water?

Nowadays there are many commercial preservatives which claim to be highly effective in feeding Christmas trees. They are mixed into the tree’s water tank-stand and apparently help the tree last longer. While some people claim that these are very effective, there aren’t currently any studies to support those claims.

Cleaning Up Fallen Needles

Falling needles are a natural part of a conifer’s life cycle. Regardless of how well you treat your tree, some needles will always make their way to your floor. Do not clean them up with a vacuum cleaner, as they may damage the machine. Instead, scoop them up using a dustpan and brush. Remove any fallen needles daily to stop them from accumulating and to protect your pets and children from getting hurt.

Looking for the Perfect Christmas Tree?

Having the right Christmas tree can make your holiday even more joyful. Fantastic Services offers a real Christmas tree delivery service to keep your spirits high and your home looking jolly. Get your tree picked up and delivered by experts for a hassle-free festive season. We can install your tree and even handle the removal after the holidays!

Bring joy to your home this holiday season! Find out about our Christmas tree delivery service here.


  • Real Christmas trees require daily maintenance to keep fresh
  • When transporting the tree on top of your car, wrap it in a tarp or blanket to protect it
  • Make sure to water your evergreen regularly
  • Keep the Christmas tree away from heat sources
  • Check that you have the right size stand for your tree
  • Clean up any fallen needles daily to prevent them from accumulating


Did we miss anything? Do you have some Christmas tree caring tips you would like to share? Drop a comment below or give us a shout on social media.

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