Follow these tips to keep your real Christmas tree as fresh as possible. If you are unable to put your tree up when you get home, store it in a cool sheltered area(e.g. north side of the garage or house) away from the wind and sun.
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.
Heat sources like heat registers, space heaters, fireplaces, wood stove, televisions, computer monitors, etc. speed up evaporation and moisture loss of the tree.
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.
Research has shown that plain tap water is by far the best. Some commercial additives and home concoctions can actually decrease a tree's moisture retention and increase needle loss.
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.
With proper care, your Christmas tree will bring warmth and pleasure throughout the holiday season!