Caring for a real tree
Make a fresh cut on the butt to reestablish the tree's ability to take up water. Cut off at least one-half inch.
The fresh-cut surface should be creamy-white, not yellow or brown. If you do not make a fresh cut, the tree will not be able to drink water.
After the cut is made, put the tree in water as soon as possible. The longer the time between when the tree is given a fresh cut and when it is put into the water, the less ability the tree has to absorb water.
Even if a hole is drilled to accommodate a pin-type stand, a fresh cut also should be made on the butt.
Check the stand for leaks.
Place the tree in a sturdy stand which will hold at least one gallon of water. Fill with plain water.
If the tree is not going into the house soon after purchase, it should be stored in a bucket of clear water on a cool porch or patio away from wind and sun in warm climates and protected from freezing and wind in cold climates.
An average tree may consume between a quart and a gallon of water per day.
If the water level drops below the cut end of the trunk, a seal will form and no more water will be absorbed by the tree unless another fresh cut is made. So don't forget to add water every day.
Miniature lights produce much less heat and reduce the drying effect upon a tree.
Always check light sets for frayed or cracked wire insulation and broken sockets before placing them on a tree. Do not attempt to repair a worn light set. Throw it away and buy a new set.
Do not overload electrical circuits.
Always turn off the lights of your tree when leaving your house or retiring for the night.
Never use lighted candles.
Place the tree away from heat sources such as heating vents, fireplaces, wood stoves and fireplace inserts, radiators, television sets or sunny windows.
Be careful not to block a door with the tree or rearranged furniture.
Check for your local chipping and composting program with the parks and recreation department, local nursery or service organization.
After Christmas, before the tree dies, remove it from the house for recycling or pick up by your local disposal service.
Never burn any part of a Christmas tree in a wood stove or fireplace.