How to care for and keep your Christmas tree alive

There’s nothing like celebrating the festive season with a real Christmas tree. Not only do they look great, the smell of lush pine as you walk in the door immediately brings home the joy of Christmas. Here’s how to make sure your tree lasts all the way to Christmas Day.

Choosing the right Christmas tree

The size, shape and appearance of your Christmas tree is important, but it’s worth taking a closer look at the overall health of the tree first. A good indicator is the needles, you want to see a lot of green and very few brown. If you run a few branches through your hands, the needles should feel flexible and not just drop off. Try to pick a tree that’s been kept in a nice shady spot out of the sun.

Placing your Christmas tree

When you get your Christmas tree home, cut roughly 2.5cm off the bottom of the trunk. This will get get rid of any dried resin that could stop the tree from absorbing water. Fill your stand with at least a litre of water for every 2.5cm of the trunk’s diameter. Then place it away from direct heat or sunlight as this will lead to your tree drying out quicker.

Watering the Christmas tree

Most people will buy their Christmas tree three to four weeks before Christmas Day, so it’s important to keep them watered. The base of the tree should always be submerged and continually topped up to prevent the tree from drying out and dying.

How long does a Christmas tree last?

If your tree is replenished with water regularly, it should last four to six weeks.

Some people swear that adding sugar to the water helps keep the tree fresh so feel free to give that a go. In our experience, plain water is just as effective. Treat your Christmas tree the same way you would a fresh bunch of cut flowers and it should last the entire festive season.

Get the presents ready

For some ideas about what to put under your tree, take a look at our Christmas Gift Guide for some great selections from Bunnings.

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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