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Picking out a Christmas tree is like any relationship, you’ll know when you know. However, we’re here to offer some advice on how to keep that love burning all holiday season long (metaphorically of course!)

The Needle Test

A quick check of a tree’s needles will tell you a lot about the health of the tree. Bend a needle in half with your fingers; for firs needles should snap while pines should bend, not break.

You can also take the inside of a branch and pull towards you. If a few needles fall that’s fine, but if there’s a pile, you may want to ‘see other people.’

Shake it off

We came across a great tip from Mark Chisholm, arborist, and STIHL spokesman to shake the tree down outside before you bring it in the house. He told BHG you can use a leaf-blower to knock off “any loose needles, debris wedged in the branches and, most importantly, remove any insects or egg masses that might have survived the journey.”

Avoid Drying Out 

It’s tempting to place your tree in a cozy spot near the fireplace; however, that can significantly impact the life the tree. Trees are pretty susceptible to drying out so try to avoid setting-up near heating vents, stoves, etc.

Feel free to add a humidifier to the room if your house is generally dry.

Get it in Water ASAP 

As soon as you get your fresh cut tree, be sure to put it in water when you get home. Cut 1” off the tree trunk to open up the capillaries. If the tree was pre-cut the butt-end has sealed over, opening us those vessels will help the tree drink up much needed water.

Keep it in Water

Water is an important part in your trees health, just like humans! Check your stand twice daily to be sure it’s full. The first week in particular a tree can drink up to a gallon of water per day. For an extra step: add a bit of sugar to the water to create a ‘sap’ like mix for the tree.