What if you could keep your Christmas tree — and the season’s joy — alive for longer? You might be buying a tree early and want to keep it fresh until the big day, or perhaps you’re hoping to sustain the decorations until February. Did you purchase a more expensive evergreen? You’ll want to get the most out of your money. Maybe you simply love that cozy smell of pine needles.

Whatever the reason for extending the life of your tree, we can help. In this article, we’re going to share some important tips and tricks to extend the life of your tree. Raise a mug of hot chocolate and hold onto your stockings, because we’re going to keep that holiday spirit alive long after the presents have been opened.

Can You Keep a Christmas Tree Alive All Year?

Can you keep a Christmas tree alive all year?

A holiday tree that never fades; is it too good to be true? It’s possible to keep a tree alive all year if you purchase a living potted Christmas tree. Potted trees are packaged with the roots intact. You’ll keep it inside for the holidays, then replant the tree outside.

A potted Christmas tree gives you the joy of the holidays all year — but it’s also a significant commitment. First, plan your outdoor planting location – don’t put it just anywhere. Choose a spot that receives adequate light. Make sure your tree won’t interrupt power lines as it grows.

It’s also wise to keep a tree away from pavements and roads since the root system can disrupt the concrete. If you live in a cold climate, the ground might freeze after Christmas. Consider digging the hole for your tree early when the ground is still soft.

Although a potted tree will live all year long, it shouldn’t spend too much time indoors. Ideally, you’ll only keep the tree inside for 7 to 10 days before planting it outside. When you move it indoors, keep the potted tree in a waterproof container, then maintain about 2 inches of water in the bottom consistently. Decorate with care; string lights and LEDs can dry out the branches. Consider only using garlands and lightweight ornaments this year.

A living and potted tree requires a different strategy than a cut tree, but the joy of your new evergreen will last all year.

How Do You Stop a Christmas Tree from Dropping Needles?

How do you stop a Christmas tree from dropping needles?

If you hate constantly vacuuming, Christmas trees can be a pain. But there are a few simple steps you can take to keep your tree from dropping needles:

  • Invest in the right tree. Different varieties drop fewer needles. Nordmann or Fraser firs are known to hold onto more needles. Expect to spend a little more on your tree, however. Varieties with better needle retention can be pricier.
  • Buy the freshest tree possible. Trees lose their needles as they fade. Opt for a tree that was recently cut. When you run your hands through the branches, they should be flexible and supple.
  • Place your tree away from any heat sources. Hot, dry air will brown the needles faster. You might even consider using LED lights or skipping the string lights completely. The heat from the bulbs dries your tree faster. The American Christmas Tree Association has more information about fire safety and your tree.
  • Purchase the correct tree stand. If the stand is too small, your tree won’t get enough water and will quickly drop needles. Check out a few of the stands below for ideas.
  • Finally, water your tree regularly. Your tree might take in as much as 2 pints of water a day, so keep an eye on those water levels. A dry reservoir is the most common culprit for lost needles. An automatic waterer will take the stress out of tree watering.

Why Is My Christmas Tree Not Drinking Water?

Why is your Christmas tree not drinking water?

You’ve bought the stand, propped up the tree, checked the moisture levels and…. your Christmas tree isn’t drinking water.

If you cut the trunk and placed the tree directly into fresh water, don’t worry if the evergreen doesn’t absorb water right away. It sometimes takes a Christmas tree a little while to start water uptake. So long as the tree is fresh, it will eventually begin to absorb H2O.

But if you notice that the water levels aren’t decreasing like they should over time, you might need to trim the trunk. When a tree is cut and left without water for more than 12 hours, the trunk begins to seal itself with sap. Once that happens, the tree won’t be able to absorb any more water. To fix this, simply cut off half an inch from the bottom of the trunk, being careful not to trim at an angle or drill a hole in the trunk. Place the tree in a stand with water immediately.

The Best Christmas Tree Stands That Can Hold Water

If you’re ready to bring your Christmas tree home, check out a few of the best tree stands to keep your tree alive long after the season is over. Choose a stand with a water level indicator to easily check levels. If you’re able, invest in a durable steel stand you’ll use year after year. We’ve rounded up five of our favorite stands so you can enjoy your tree all season long, no matter your budget.

Extra Large Tree Stand with Foot Pedal by Krinner

Extra large tree stand with foot pedal and water container by Krinner.

Tired of twisting fiddly screws? With this tree stand, simply place your tree upright, then step on the foot pedal to secure the tree. The stand requires no assembly and includes a water level indicator, although customers noted the indicator sometimes gets stuck. The stand is available in various sizes; the largest will hold a tree up to 12 feet tall and retain up to 2.5 gallons of water.

Reviewers claim this stand “restored balance” to their season — literally! They loved how stable the tree was, and several customers claimed this is the only quality stand for extra large trees. Whether your tree is 7 feet or 12, this 5-star stand will keep the tree steady and your setup simple.

Like it? Click here to buy now.

Automatic Christmas Tree Waterer by Ho Ho Ho H20

Automatic Christmas tree waterer by Ho Ho Ho H2o.

It’s not a stand, but it’ll make the season so much easier. Dead needles, drooping limbs, and brittle branches are all signs of a dried out tree. Once your Christmas tree starts to fade, it’s impossible to revitalize it. To keep your tree fresh all season, purchase an automatic watering device. This gem will monitor the water levels, then top them up as needed.

If your back aches from bending over to water the tree, this waterer should be at the top of your list. To blend right in, the device looks like a Christmas present. Reviewers loved that the device requires little assembly. They raved that this is the best holiday product you can buy, and it’s a must-have to keep your tree fresh while traveling. It holds up to 2.5 gallons. 

To learn more, click here.

Christmas Tree Stand with Screws by Cinco Express

Christmas tree stand with screws by Cinco Express.

Simple, sturdy, and easy to use. Don’t waste time obsessing over the perfect stand, because this basic stand is affordable and holds a tree up to 8 feet tall. It also holds up to 1.25 gallons of water. It relies on three easy-twist screws to secure the trunk. Reviewers give the stand 5 stars for its durability, simplicity, and price.

To read reviews, click here.

Sturdy Steel Christmas Tree Stand by Bowling’s Last Stand

Red steel Christmas tree stand with water container by Bowling's Last Stand.

If you’re tired of cheap plastic stands, this is the Christmas tree holder for you. “This is the last stand you’ll ever buy,” one review raved. Insanely sturdy and well-built, this steel holder requires no assembly. Three simple screws secure the trunk in place. The stand holds 1.2 gallons of water and supports trunks up to 8 inches in diameter.

To see pricing, click here.

The World’s Easiest Tree Stand by Orvis

Orvis Christmas tree stand with foot pedal and water holder.

Prop up the tree, pump the pedal, and you’re done. This stand is designed to make your life easier. The foot pedal reduces wrist strain from twisting and back pain from bending. Simply step on the lever to secure the tree.

It supports a tree up to 12 feet tall and holds up to 2.5 gallons of water. Reviewers rave that the stand is of the highest quality. Be warned: once you buy such an easy-to-use stand, you might never go back to the old kind.

Ready to buy? Click here.

To Sum It Up…

Nothing says holiday time like the smell of pine needles. With a little planning, you can keep your tree alive for longer and extend the holiday joy. Invest in a Nordmann or Fraser fir if you want a tree that drops less needles, and make sure you choose a quality stand to secure and support your tree.

Stands are available in several options, depending on your needs. If you suffer from back pain or wrist pain, opt for a stand with a foot pedal. Place your tree and stand away from heat sources and water it regularly. Feeling forgetful this holiday season? An automatic tree waterer will erase the need to water your tree daily.

With the right tree, a quality stand, and regular watering, you can keep your tree alive long past the season. Just add a cup of hot chocolate and a few lovely people, and your holiday joy will be complete.