1. Make a fresh cut.
Before you bring the tree into your home and place it in a stand, re-cut the trunk at least one inch from the bottom just before putting it in the stand. Even if you just cut it on a choose and cut farm, this re-opens the tree stem so it can drink water.
2. Choose a spot away from heat sources.
Heat sources like heat registers, space heaters, fireplaces, wood stove, televisions, computer monitors, etc. speed up evaporation and moisture loss of the tree.
3. Water immediately.
After making the fresh cut, place the tree in a large capacity stand with warm water. The stand you use should hold at least one gallon of fresh water.
4. Don’t add anything to the water.
Research has shown that plain tap water is the best. Some commercial additives and home concoctions can actually decrease a tree’s moisture retention and increase needle loss.
5. Check water level daily.
Do not allow the water level to drop below the fresh cut or the stem will reseal and be unable to drink. Christmas trees are very thirsty! It is not unusual for a tree to drink 2 gallons of water the first day it is the stand.