Caring for a fresh-cut tree

Stand and Water—Make a fresh cut trimming an inch or so off the base and immediately place in a bucket of water or your perfectly sized tree stand. Make sure the stand is big enough to handle the trunk without whittling the base; the outer layers are important for water absorption.
Thirsty Trees—Fresh cut trees can drink up to a gallon of water per day. Levels should be checked frequently to keep water above the base of the trunk.
Keep it Cool—Place your tree away from fireplaces, heat vents and sunlight and keep room temperature cool. The lights you place on the tree are another source of heat so consider using miniature lights which put out less heat.
Electrical Overload—Overloaded power outlets and faulty wires are the most common cause of fires during the holidays. Take a little extra care to check your lights and wires before lighting up your tree.
Pinch Test—Wonder if your tree is still fresh? Just pinch a few needles and bend a branch. If it snaps easily or drops lots of needles it may be time to remove it from your house.
The ‘Gift’ That Keeps on Giving—Once your tree is removed from your house consider the many ways it can keep on giving: mulch for park trails, compost, improve fishing habitat in a lake or pond or as backyard habitat for birds by decorating it with peanut butter and bird seed pine cones.