To make your tradition a more memorable and pleasant one, we’d like to offer a few helpful hints for choosing your Christmas tree:
Do A Freshness Test
Gently grasp a branch between your thumb and forefinger and pull it towards you. Very few needles should come off in your hand, if the tree is fresh. Shake or bounce the tree on it’s stump. You should see a very small amount of green needles fall to the ground.
Keep the tree stand filled with water. A seal of dried sap will form over the cut stump in 4 – 6 hours if the water level drops below the base of the tree, preventing the tree from absorbing water later when the tree stand is filled. If a sap layer has formed, another fresh cut will need to be made.
A tree will absorb as much as a gallon of water or more in the first 24 hours and one or more quarts a day thereafter. Water is important because it prevents the needles from drying and dropping off and the boughs from drooping. Water also keeps the tree fragrant.