Real Christmas Tree's

Updated on October 29, 2011
E.M. asks from Liberty, MO
9 answers

I have been to get a real tree for Christmas one year and i'm thinking this would be the year to do it simply because we "need" a new fake one and get afford to get one until after Christmas when everything is on super sale. But seeing as i've never had a real one I dont know how hard it is to keep it alive. Do you have to water it every day? What kind of a stand do you get to hold it up? Are they (tree and stand) expensive? Are they sold together? Are they very messy with shedding the needles? As you can see I have lots of questions about them. what kind of maintenace is there? i need help..LOL

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So What Happened?

Thank you all for the help! I am so excited now to go and get a real tree after Thanksgiving! Thank goodness we finished our basement and will have the tree downstairs where the twins cant knock it over. lol

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answers from Charlotte on

Well, I guess I'll be a Debbie-Downer here about the tree stand. We skimped on the tree stand and didn't get a heavy duty one, and the tree fell over and broke a lot of my ornaments, especially the glass ones.

So from my bad experience, get the expensive stand, so you aren't a Debbie-Downer like me!


3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Seattle on

Trees range in price according to species and height. At the lot they'll have them divided by both. (ex: 6' douglas = $15, 6' noble = $60)

SUPER easy to care for. Just add water. Getting them set up fir that is slightly harder.

Most important thing is that it goes in water within 10 minutes of cutting off the bottom inches. After that the sap forms a seal on the trunk that keeps it from drawing water. So it dies very very quickly once in a warm house (they can live for weeks and weeks cut OUTSIDE, because it's cold, and usually wet).

Second most important thing is that there's SPACE between the bottom of the trunk and the bottom of the stand. If it's sitting flush against the bottom, it also won't draw water. Easy fix... have them cut it (or cut it yourself) at an angle. Then when you stab it on the spike it's never flush against the bottom. The screws that you tighten on the stand hold it upright, not the bottom of the stand.

3rd (is still a water thing), make sure there's a couple inches of water above the cut. Sounds simple, but it can be awkward. I make this a kid-job to reach in and find out. I also make it a kid job to water it! My 'responsibility'...but their bendy little bodies doing the work :)

4th; if you have pets JUST USE PLAIN WATER. They have scented packets and extended life packets. A plain water tree will last for 1-2 months indoors as long as it never goes dry (allowing the cut to seal with resin). PETS LOVE XMAS TREE FLAVORED WATER. They just do. Every cat and dog I've ever met sneaks in under there for that water. They're usually careful about it, but they drink it. The additives are poisonous. And an unnecessary expense.

But that's ALL you have to do to care for it: make sure it CAN drink water, and that it has water.

Needle mess... they only drop needles as they're drying or being whacked about. So whack it about FIRST (outside your house) to shake any loose ones off, and vacuum after you've bashed it about getting it "straight" in the stand (have one person look, one person hold the trunk and turn, and one person do the screws. Or if there's only two of you, the screw turner looks. If there's only one of you, it will take a WHILE. Kids can hold the trunk as well.) DO look from a few different angles. As it will look "straight" when it's tipping BACK. Once you turn the tree... oh. Okay. Pull it that way. THEN, once you're done schlepping, spiking, and positioning the tree... vacuum. You won't have a needle problem as long as it's nice and watered. Maybe 5 or 6 a day.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

I decorate and light trees for the holidays. Usually I do no less than 12 trees per season. they are 8 to 22 feet tall. Most are artificial pre lit, but a few are still live trees.

Depending on how tall and big your tree is will help decide what size stand you will need.

They always have a ton of them at Goodwill this time of the year.. check it out. Otherwise Target and Walmart have good prices for them.

When looking for a fresh tree, make sure it has a straight trunk and is not bent in the middle of the tree. stand it up and look at it all of the way around it.

Rub your hands down a few of the branches and make sure not many needles come off.

Yes, do ask that they take off the bottom part of the trunk so it can absorb the water. Do water it every day as needed. Yes as it dries out the needles will fall.

At home lay news paper on the floor and a Plastic Garbage bag, this is to catch any water that may splash out of the stand while you water it.

Try to place the tree away from any heating vents.. Or bright sun light.. This is what dries out a tree quickly.. You may want to let the tree sit in the stand for about 6 to 8 hours so the branches can fall,

Make sure when you light the tree, you follow the directions about how many strands to plug into each other and into the extension cords.
When you decorate it, make sure there are ornaments all the way around the tree, or it will be too heavy on one side and can flip forward.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

i go to a tree farm for mine, I think the tree itself is about 40$, the stand was probably 30 and yes you have to buy a stand, most places sell them. We pick out the tree and tag it early and then get it in early december. Yes they need watered every day, and yes they shed needles. the fresher the tree when you bring it home the longer it will keep. But they are messy and it's hard to put lights up, def. wear long sleeves and gloves, or find a tree with soft needles, some poke more than others. I've always gotten real trees, and I love it, to me it's worth the mess and the work.

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answers from Atlanta on

I love them! I put a cup of water in every day. We put ours up the weekend of Thanksgiving and take it down the day after New Year's Day. All you have to do is vacuum up the needles. We've had cut your own Leland Cyprus which shed the least and usually we get a Frasier Fir from Pike Nursery. We've also gotten them from Home Depot and Lowes and never had a problem.

And yes, get the $30 tree stand! Ours is from Lowes and has a swivel base so the tree cannot completely topple even if it falls. I have many cherished ornaments and had a disastrous experience about eight years ago, so it is important!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

THey are not that hard to care for. You do need a special stand, but I don't think they are terribly expensive, ours is plastic. They are sold at Target, Wal Mart, etc., but not at the tree lot. You will need to water it every day. The first few days it drinks a lot of water!!! After that it slows down and if you forget a day it will probably be okay.

When you pick out your tree ask the people at the yard to cut off the bottom for you, this way it will be ready to set up. Trees can be expensive. It depends upon the type of tree. You'll have to go look around but we generally spend about $40-60 on a tree, but I like nice fluffy, full ones.

They are pretty messy. I just found a pine needle the other day from last year, at least I think it was last year's tree! ;) But they aren't horrible, I mean you sort of know what you're getting into!

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answers from St. Louis on

Get at REAL tree. They can be had at $40+. Note the height of your ceiling. Trees look shorter outside. :o) We like to go to the local nursery to get ours. No matter where you go, it will be wrapped and attached to your car. Feel free to tip that person. It can be mulched after Christmas. Most communities have a pick-up day.

Get a PLASTIC tree stand w/four screws, not three. Four gives you a straighter, secure standing tree. Around $30-$40, and use year after year. DO NOT GET THE METAL stands. They are CHEAP and fall over.

Cut a few inches off of the bottom. Check the water (ONLY WATER) everyday. The tree will really 'drink' the water the first few days. Get a watering can w/a long spout to make it easier to water. You use only water...all of those 'solutions' do not really extend the life of your tree, as shown on the show 'Mythbusters.'

Needles don't have to be a mess. Bend the needles at the lot. If flexible, it is a good tree. If not, it is already dry and you will have a lot fall off. Give it a good shake outside when you get home.

Have fun!! :o)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

We get our tree from a cut your own farm because the fresher it is the longer it lasts. An extremely dry tree is a fire hazard. Personally, I love the mess because I vacuum up the needles and it smells like pine needles until I change the bag again.
Also, make sure you wear gloves and cover the car with an old blanket when transporting the tree. The sap gets on everything.

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answers from Colorado Springs on

Here's my experience:

We've had fake trees and real trees. The last several years we've used real ones, because our cats loved the fake tree so much they would climb up and down it all night (I don't know why real trees are boring to them, but they leave those alone). I'm rather grouchy when I don't get sleep at night, so having a "boring" real tree was a good idea. Now, unless we're going to be out of town in December (daily maintenance is important), we do the real thing.

After years of struggling with low-priced tree-lot-on-the-corner products, I turned to a local plant nursery that had a reputation for selling quality Christmas trees. I didn't look at the fancy ones with the fancy price tags; I got a "natural" but fresh tree, and bought the stand they recommended and sold.

It was not super-expensive, but it did cost some money. However, it was well worth it. I guess you get what you pay for. Only once have we had a lemon, and then it was replaced free.

We get a really fresh tree that sheds very few needles all through December, and the nursery people will put it in the stand for me! I take it home immediately (!), stand it in its place, and water it right away. I check the stand regularly; after 48 hours or so, the tree is happy and doesn't have to be checked for water more than once a day.

You might want to ask around for a local nursery near you that has a reputation for very fresh trees. If you find a place, start looking at their trees right after Thanksgiving, and, if you buy one, follow the instructions the people give you! A real tree looks - well, real! And the fragrance of a real tree can't be duplicated by anything.

1 mom found this helpful
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