For years, we would wait until the last minute to purchase our Christmas tree. It wasn’t out of laziness; believe us, we would be happy to display our holiday decor even in the summertime! It had everything to do with our fear of being forced to arrange presents around a dying Christmas tree.

Yep, we spent several Christmas mornings scrambling to add extra lights, tinsel, and ornaments in order to hide the bald patches and falling needles from our beloved tree. It was a bit of a buzzkill, but everything changed once we started to do some research.

As it turns out, we learned that your run-of-the-mill Douglas fir should be able to last in any living room for at least a month without too much extra care!

In today’s post, we are sharing some of our favorite tips and tricks for healthy Christmas trees, but let’s watch News Channel 5 Nashville’s video below first. In the clip, we learn that the first step to achieving Christmas tree serenity starts right at the lot.

Now that you know how to do your due diligence, let’s look at 5 more ways you can keep your Christmas tree fresh all holiday season long!

  1. Pay attention to placement

    First things first: let’s talk about placement. You may have an idea in your head of where your Christmas tree would display best in your home, but that spot might not necessarily be the healthiest place for it.

    You see, your tree shouldn’t be anywhere near a heat source— i.e. a fireplace, heater, or even a window that lets in a lot of daytime light. Doing so will cause the tree’s needles to dry out and fall off prematurely, and may even make for a fire risk. Instead, keep your tree green and flame-free by opting for a darker, cooler spot away from any dangerous or damaging heat sources. Makes sense!

  2. Just add water

    Everyone knows that keeping a Christmas tree hydrated is a surefire way to ensure its needles stay green and vibrant past December 25— and maybe even into the new year!

    According to Live Science, a typical tree absorbs a quart of water for each inch of its diameter, so get out that measuring tape before you get pouring. And remember, Christmas trees can only survive without water for about 6 to 8 hours AFTER their stem is cut, so make sure you get it home soon after you leave the lot.

  3. Feed your tree

    If you feel that your tree needs some real TLC, it may be time to bring in the big guns!

    Go to your cupboard and pour 4 teaspoons of white vinegar and 1 cup of white sugar to about 1 gallon of water (see the H20 mixture above to size it to your specific tree) directly into your Christmas tree stand. Genius Kitchen says that this special mixture acts as nutritious “food” for your delicate Douglas fir.

  4. Get some help from Honest Abe

    Another way to keep your tree fresh and free from rot is to introduce a disinfectant to its water source. Now, some people enlist harsh ingredients like bleach, vodka, or aspirin for the task, but we prefer to use something less noxious— a copper penny.

    Because copper holds natural microbial properties, dropping a penny into the mix will ensure that your fir isn’t lapping up any tainted water. Just think of it as a simple Brita filter for your Christmas tree!

  5. Dress accordingly

    Believe it or not, there is a wrong way to decorate your tree and there is a right way. Now, we’re not talking about color schemes here, it has everything to do with the temperature of the lights.

    We mentioned before that firs don’t do well when subjected to hot external heat sources, like heaters and direct sunlight, but if you want to make your tree last REALLY long, string it with lights that produce low heat, like mini lights or, better yet, LEDs.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on Christmas tree care! Have you tried any of these tips before? If so, which ones worked for you? Do you have any of your own that you would like to add to the list?