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How long do real Christmas trees last (4-6 weeks) Learn more
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How to make sure you tree last for 4-6 weeks indoors, choosing the right type of tree (this is important) and how to prepare your tree so it last right the way through to the new year.
With millions of excited Christmas tree shoppers set to head out to buy a freshly cut Christmas tree over the next couple of weeks from local garden centres and nurseries as well as Christmas tree farms, the question many find asking themselves is 'how long does a Christmas tree last in the home?' More importantly, how do you set your tree up for success so its still going to look as fresh on Christmas Day than the day you put it up.
Well it starts with choosing the right type of tree, then how its stored as well as how its prepared so it can take up water as well as the stand you choose to ensure it has plenty of water to keep it looking fresh which can be topped up when needed.
In this post, we will go over everything you need to know from choosing the right type of tree, do you go for the cheaper Spruce?, or do you spend a little more for the premium Nordman Fir, known for its low drop properties or do you go for the Fraser Fir with its blue tinted needles and slimline shape ideal for smaller corners. We even look for at potted and pot grown trees (this is important too) for those who want to plant it out after Christmas and use it the following year with is more environmentally friendly.
Nothing else matters if you don't choose a good stand that can hold water, below is our top recommended Christmas tree stand which not only hold ample amounts of water but also takes the stress out standing your tree upright ready to decorate.
Best Christmas Tree Stand For Keeping Your Tree looking Fresh
A healthy long lasting tree starts with a stand with holds plenty of water and is super easy to set the tree up in.
- Ensures a consistent water supply to the tree, keeping your tree fresher until the new year.
- Water indicator ensures you know when you need to refill the large water reservoir as letting it drop to much is the number one reason trees fail as the pores become blocked.
- The foot pump, combined with the unique clamping device, guarantees equal claw pressure around the trunk and makes standing it up stress free.
- Different sizes available to take a range of tree sizes.
- Put your tree up in minutes, no more tightening screws and bolts.
How to keep a freshly cut Christmas tree fresher for longer and choosing the perfect tree
A quick summary on how to keep your Christmas tree fresh for longer
- Choose a low needle drop type such as Nordman Fir, Fraser fir or Scotts Pine.
- Place in cool room and avoid putting next to radiators or fires.
- Cut 4-6 cm off the bottom of the tree just before placing in the stand.
- Keep the stand filled with water.
- If you follow these steps you should be able to keep your tree fresh for the whole of the Christmas period even if you put your Christmas tree up 4 weeks before Christmas.
Some cut Christmas trees come on blocks as pictured above, we highly recommend taking them off the block and putting into a Christmas tree stand that holds water and remember to cut 2 inches off the base of the tree to allow it to take up water. More on this further down.
When should you buy your Christmas tree?
A Christmas tree that is correctly cared for and well chosen should easily last 4 to 6 weeks in the home, however, the British Christmas Tree Growers Association recommend you don't put your tree up any sooner than the 1st December. This means means you can get your tree up early and still have it looking fantastic on Christmas Day.
Unless your lucky enough to get your Christmas tree from a local Christmas tree farm where you can choose your own Christmas tree and then have it freshly cut in front of you. What most people don't realise is that Christmas trees in your local garden centres are not really as freshly cut as you may think.
Most Christmas trees are in fact cut around 3-6 weeks before Christmas, how do you think they cut and transport millions of trees within a few days, after all most garden centre get there trees in on the last week of November. The good news is that most Christmas trees will look fresh for months if stored outside in cold conditions our of the wind.
Starting by choosing a healthy tree
It all starts with choosing a healthy tree, get this wrong and nothing else matters, we recommend choosing a Christmas tree with bright green needles and one that feels heavy as this usually means it has a high water content and is fresh. Avoid any trees that have dull and dry needles, give the tree a little shake and of needles fall off look at another tree and move on.
Which type of Christmas tree is better (non drop)
Generally, the more you pay for a Christmas tree the better it is in regards to not dropping its needles. In general, Norway Spruce are the cheapest types of tree compared to other types such as the Nordman Fir, Fraser Fir and Pines trees. Spruce are easily identified as they have a conical very good Christmas tree shape and very sharp needles to the touch as well as being dark green in colour. The problem is Spruce don't do well in modern central heated homes even when placed in water so we recommend avoiding this type for inside the home.
If you want a tree you keep outside in the garden or will be placed somewhere cool indoors then these make fantastic Christmas trees and will last months. However, if you have them indoors and follow every trick in the book to keep it from losing its needles they nearly all ways still will regardless of what some garden centres might try and tell you
The only other time we would advise you to have a Spruce indoors, is if your very traditional and only have your tree up for a few days at Christmas.
Now we know what type of tree isn't ideal for indoors, we look at our indoor favourites.
There are a few types of Christmas trees that have proven ideal for inside the home as they have low needle drop characteristics if cared for correctly. These include the following trees
Nordman Fir Christmas Trees
Nordman Fir have dark green foliage, a good conical shape and tend to be wide at the bottom of the tree so it can be sometimes difficult to find a tree that fill fit into a smaller space. However they are are number favourite and makes excellent indoor Christmas Trees.
Fraser Fir Christmas Tree
Fraser Firs have a brilliant needle retention and are distinctive by their Blue/green foliage with a slimmer build and are ideal for narrow spaces as they are not as wide at the base than Nordman Firs. Fraser firs are probably the second most popular of all the non drop trees.
Scotts Pine have long green needles, generally wider and slightly cheaper than Nordman Firs and Fraser Firs for the same height, however they are also excellent trees for indoors as they don't drop many needles either. They are less dense and some people prefer them as there plenty of space for hanging decorations.
Lodgepole pines have long needles with lots of space between each row of branches so are also excellent for handing decorations if you like trees with plenty of space between the branches.
Store your Christmas Tree outside for a couple of days before taking it inside to decorate.
This part is important because if you dry the tree out before its even put indoors, you will drastically reduced how long it will retain its needles for before its even been decorated.
Ideally you should store your tree outside in a bucket of water, out of the wind until you're going to put the tree up. Never store under cover or leave somewhere were it is exposed to wind as this will dry the tree out very quickly.
Only put the Christmas tree inside a garage or shed or similar to dry it out if it is wet a few hours before you plan to put the tree up.
Choosing the perfect location, why a stand is super important for your tree and what not to do
Its very important to use a stand that holds water as it allows the tree to take up water in the same way cut flowers do. This will keep the tree fresh and allow it to hydrate and hold its needs, Christmas trees loose there needles when they loose water content in the branches.
Check out the 3 Christmas trees stands below which we think are the 3 best models currently available. Avoid the traditional cast iron traditional looking stands as they don't hold much water and if they do they certainly don't hold enough.
Our Top 3 Recommended Christmas Trees Stands that store water keeping your tree fresh
Krinner Vario - Our Top Pick
Ideal for trees up to 8ft and has a water capacity 3 litres to keep your tree fresh. Unique foot ratchet clamp means, its up in minutes and hassle free.
Ideal for trees up to 8ft. Hold 3.75 litres or more, of water with integrated spill guard. Inner spike and plastic bolts clamp holds tree securely.
15'' Classic Wooden Stand
Handmade in the UK, ideal for both real and artificial trees up to 6ft tall. Large 5" water reservoir and sliding tree support with spike to hold tree firmly in place. Available in red and green.
We have reviewed the ‘Krinner Christmas Tree stand’ in depth which you can read here
Choose the right location away from heating sources
Think about the location of the tree, all though you may not want the room to be cold, try to keep the room not too warm as this will dry the tree out and effect its ability to hold its needles.
Do not put the tree next to fire places or radiators (maybe turning the radiator off if possible). This is the worst position for a tree and will drastically how long it will look fresh for even if placed in water. Also think about where the plug sockets are for the lights on the tree.
The most important step in making your tree last longer
Make sure the stand is in position and filled with water. Next you need to re-cut 2 inches of the bottom of the tree with a pruning saw and then place it straight into the stand filled with water. This will make sure that the tree able to take up water, its important that it is not cut and then left for any amount of time as the trees vascular system will become blocked and it will need cutting again.
When Christmas trees are cut the vascular system becomes blocked which stops the tree from taking up water, by cutting it again it unblocks the pores and allows the tree to take up water like cut flowers and enabled it to hold its needles.
Keep the stand filled with water
Keeping the stand filled with water is equally as important, do not allow the tree to go without water. Christmas trees take up lots of water and the stand will probably needs filling daily. If the stand runs out of water and is left for too long the tree vascular system will become blocked and it will not take up water again.
Think about purchasing a live Christmas tree with roots
Pot grown and potted Christmas trees, are trees that still have roots are ideal for someone who wants to have a Christmas tree indoors for the Christmas holiday and then either plant it into a large pot or plant it some where in the garden after Christmas. If you keep the tree in a pot you can then use it for many years until it out grows the pot or grows too big to fit in the house.
The one issue with potted and pot grown Christmas trees is they are usually no bigger than 5ft (150cm) tall. You can help make them look bigger by placing them on a table to give the appearance of a larger tree if this works for you.
If you plan on keeping the Christmas tree we strongly recommend buying a pot grown tree, these have been grown in a pot unlike potted trees which are dug up and then placed in a pot. Pot grown trees have a far better chance of surviving than potted trees as there root system is not disturbed.
We only recommend keeping a pot grown Christmas tree inside the home for up to 2 weeks and that they are gradually introduced to the outside slowly bringing it in during the night for a few days before leaving it outside permanently. The shock of cold weather can damage them if they have been in a warm home for a few weeks.