Top Ten Handy Facts about Caring for a Live Christmas Tree

There are many myths when it comes to the best way to care for a live tree indoors. But some experts say that a healthy, freshly cut tree should last up to two months with the proper care and watering.  What’s the secret to maintaining a healthy Christmas tree?  The single most important factor in keeping your tree healthy throughout the season is providing adequate moisture. 

Here are helpful, myth-busting details on the best way to care for your live Christmas tree indoors:

  1. When a Christmas tree is first cut, more than half its weight is water. A Christmas tree stand should provide about 1 quart of water per inch of stem diameter.
  2. It’s not true that drilling a hole in the base will improve water uptake.
  3. Plain, clean water is all that is needed. Additives to the water will not improve the efficiency at which water is absorbed.
  4. Don’t worry about the water temperature. The temp of the water in the base of the stand does not affect how well the tree absorbs the water.
  5. Anti-transpirants (products marketed as a way to slow the water evaporation process from the tree’s surface) do not actually provide a significant benefit to the health of your indoor tree.
  6. Continue to check the tree stand daily and refill with water as needed. Make sure there is always enough water to reach the base of the trunk.
  7. When you water, also make it part of your routine to check for sap that may have leaked. Fresh sap is much easier to clean up than dried sap.
  8. Direct sunlight really can dry out your tree. If your tree is near a window, close the blinds during the day. And of course, keep heat sources such as candles, fireplaces and space heaters away from the tree. Never burn parts of your Christmas tree in your fireplace.
  9. Always turn off the lights on your tree before leaving the house and before going to bed.
  10. Christmas trees under 4-feet tall can are eligible for curbside pick-up in DeKalb and Fulton county whenever your regular lawn debris pick up is scheduled.

The best way to send off your tree after the holiday season is to recycle it! Making a family trip to the Christmas tree recycling center a part of your holiday tradition is a great opportunity to demonstrate your dedication to caring for our environment.  The annual “Bring One for the Chipper” program is part of Georgia’s statewide effort to reuse and recycle Christmas trees as mulch, and mulch is a great way to beautify and protect our local ecosystem. Christmas tree recycling drop-off points are located throughout Atlanta (visit for designated drop off locations).

In the meantime, we really enjoy seeing everyone’s outdoor holiday decorations and we are taking special care to maintain our clients’ landscapes without disturbing their festive outdoor décor. From all of us at Handy Andy Outdoors, we hope your holiday season is especially merry and bright.