Tree Tips

How long a Christmas tree will last after being cut depends on many factors. Here are some tips to help you get a tree that will liven up your home as long as you need for the holiday season.

Before you come

  1. Decide where the tree will be placed.
    • Away from heat sources (wood stoves, fireplaces, heating vents, direct sunlight)
    • Outlet locations?
  2. Decide how big the tree can be.
    • Ceiling height?
    • Tree topper?
    • Height added by the tree stand
    • Doorways and TVs.

At the farm

  1. Select a variety of tree that typically lasts for the required time period. Some varieties of trees simply last
    longer than others. Use our Tree Varieties page to help you decide.
  2. Stick with the sizing that you decided before leaving home. (it is very rare that someone comes back and
    says, “My tree last year was way too small.” The trees usually look a lot smaller in the field under and
    open sky than it does in your room which already has furniture.)
  3. When cutting the tree, separate the tree from the stump without splitting the trunk or peeling the bark.
    You can do this by starting the cut from one side of the tree, then finishing from the opposite side. Resist the urge to cut the tree partially through and yell “Timber!!!” as you push it the rest of the way over. (The yell does no harm, but the pushing can.)

At home

  1. Get your chosen spot in your home ready. (Remember the criterion you considered above.
  2. Use a stand with a large water bowl (10-quarts is a recommended minimum). A typical tree will drink a gallon or more of water a day, especially in the first week. To avoid the cut sapping over, don’t let the water level get below the bottom of the trunk.
  3. If your tree has been cut for over an hour, trim about ½” off the bottom just before placing it in your stand. This fresh cut will allow the tree to take up water better. If the tree has been cut more than a few hours, cut more than ½” off the bottom.
  4. Again…WATER, WATER, WATER. (Some folks add aspirin, Sprite, and other things to the water. They may not hurt anything, but the key is water.)


  1. Put lights on the Christmas tree first, then garland or ribbon, then your ornaments.
  2. When adding lights, start at the branches near the base of the tree, wrapping lights from the center out toward the tips of the branches.
  3. Place ornaments and other decorations at varying depths on the branches, not just on the tips of the branches, to add depth and interest.
  4. Start by arranging basic, solid color balls closer to the trunk and middle of the branches, evenly spaced out, then mix in your more special, one-of-a-kind ornaments between the basic ornaments from the center toward the tips of the branches so they are evenly spaced.

Enjoy your tree! With good care, it’s not uncommon for some tree varieties that were cut near Thanksgiving to very fresh after New Year’s.

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US Mail Office Address: 
Georgia Christmas Tree Association
120 Cordele Rd.
Hawkinsville, GA 31036
Phone: 478-919-TREE (8733)