If the tree is to be kept for several days before being set up in the house, place it out of the direct sun and wind, perhaps on the north or east side of the house, behind some shrubbery, under an overhang, or in an unheated enclosed porch or garage.
If the tree is to be stored more than a couple of days, it is advisable to place its trunk in water. If the tree has been cut within the last six to eight hours, it will not need to be cut before putting it into water; longer than that and it should be freshly cut. All of our trees are cut prior to delivery, and should be placed in water within an hour or two of delivery. If your have the tree out of water for more than 6 hours, and need to give the trunk a fresh cut, be sure to cut straight across the trunk (not at an angle) removing an inch or more from the bottom of the trunk. Be sure the container holds enough water and replenish it often enough that the water does not fall below the level of the trunk bottom. If it does, the trunk will begin to seal, and water absorption will be reduced or cease. When this occurs, a fresh cut must be made to remove the sap seal. Cut Christmas trees will absorb a surprising amount of water, particularly during the first week. A tree with a two-inch diameter trunk may initially use two quarts of water per day; one with a four-inch diameter trunk may use more than four quarts per day.
*Please note, all trees are freshly cut and drilled prior to delivery. Cutting the tree after it has been drilled is not advised if you are using one of our Tree Teck pin stands as the tree may become unstable.
The lower the temperature and the higher the humidity, the longer a cut Christmas tree will last. If possible, turn down the temperature or close (at least partially) the heat vents in the room where the tree is located. If you have a humidifier, set it as high as feasible without causing condensation throughout the house. Some individuals who do not have whole-house humidifiers place a small portable humidifier in the room with the tree. Do not locate the tree near sources of heat such as a fireplace, an open heat duct, or a radiator, or in front of a window that receives the direct rays of the sun.
If the trunk has not been freshly cut, cut it as described previously.
Consider using a tree disposal bag and place the bag around the base of the tree before it is put in the stand. A tree disposal bag is a large plastic bag that is pulled up over the entire tree at the end of the season to contain loose needles and branches as the tree is carried out of the house. To be effective, the tree bag must be placed around the base of the tree trunk before the tree is placed in the stand.
Place the tree in a stand that is large enough and strong enough to hold a tree of its size. Be sure that the tree stand will hold an adequate amount of water (most would suggest a one- gallon minimum; more for large trees) and that it is replenished on a daily basis. Water is important because it prevents the needles from drying out, becoming brittle, and dropping off; the branches from drooping and then becoming brittle; and it keeps the tree fragrant. Again, remember that the tree will absorb a large quantity of water, particularly during the first week, and it is essential that the water level in the stand never go below the cut end of the trunk or a seal of dried sap will form (in as little as four to six hours), preventing the tree from absorbing water. If this happens, a fresh cut will need to be made to remove the sap seal, a cut that is often not feasible with a fully decorated tree.
Use only approved and carefully inspected electrical lights and extension cords when decorating a Christmas tree. Do not leave a lighted Christmas tree unattended.
Take the tree down at the end of the season or when it has become too dry. A well-cared-for Christmas tree should normally remain fresh for the entire holiday season. Research has shown that fresh-cut Christmas trees of the species commonly sold in Ohio should last at least four weeks before drying to an unacceptable level. Some trees will last longer; others will dry out sooner. We have evaluated trees that were still acceptable after six weeks, and a few trees that took up very little water and began drying out immediately. Certainly a little judgment must be used in evaluating when to remove the tree.
After the holiday season, a Christmas tree can be disposed of in a variety of ways.
Many communities have curbside pick-up or drop-off locations for recycling or disposing of Christmas trees.
Christmas trees can be chipped and used for mulch or composted.
Christmas trees can be set up in your yard or garden as a shelter or feeder for birds or other wildlife. This is most commonly done by simply securing the tree in a standing position and hanging suet or other food in the foliage.
Christmas trees can be used as cover in fish ponds. See the Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet, Placing Artificial Fish Attractors in Ponds and Reservoirs.