How to Set Up a Christmas Tree and Keep It Alive
Time Required: Under 2 hours
Nothing rings in the Christmas spirit quite like the scent of a fresh pine tree. Easily set up your tree and secure it in a stand following these steps. Once you have your live Christmas tree set up, it only takes occasional watering to keep it fresh and vibrant into the new year.
- Choose a tree stand based on the height of your tree and its watering needs. Watch the above video for help in determining what type of stand will best fit your tree.
- Put on gloves and remove any branches on the bottom 10 inches of the tree. (Remember: If you get the bottom of your tree trunk cut at The Home Depot, that cut can stay fresh for up to eight hours, so make sure to get your tree in water within eight hours of purchase.)
- Lift your freshly cut tree trunk and set firmly into the base prongs. Leave the tree in its netting for easier handling.
- Hold the tree straight while a friend turns two opposite screws on the base to secure the tree.
- Step back and check if the tree is straight. Use a windowsill or corner to help your eyes align. Remember that the tree will be much wider once the net is removed and the branches relax.
- Adjust the tree as necessary. To do this, lean the tree in the direction it needs to be adjusted while a friend tightens the remaining screws. Remember: Screws may not turn to the same tightness to achieve a straight tree, so don’t worry about that.
- Still leaning? Loosen the screws, gently re-center the tree and tighten the screws again.
- Remove the net with scissors.
- Don’t try to shape the tree – within three hours the tree branches will fall into their natural position.
- Add water. Fill the tree stand to capacity, then cover with a Christmas tree skirt.
- Water every day. A six-foot Christmas tree needs one gallon of water a day to stay fresh. Add more for taller trees.
- Set up a tree watering system that makes it easy to water the tree without having to bend over and squeeze over any presents. Some water funnels also have alerts to remind you to water daily.