Testing the quality of your tree
Cut trees need to be fresh when purchased. Check by doing a freshness test. Gently grasp a branch between your thumb and finger and pull it toward you. A few needles may come off but this should be minimal.
The underside of the needles on most species of Christmas trees should appear dull.
Caring for your cut tree
If you are not decorating your tree the day you purchase, cut 2cm off the stump and leave it outside in water.
When ready to decorate, put it in a water-retaining stand away from direct heat and radiators and top up the stand with water. Trees can drink up to a litre a day for about two weeks. After this period the tree will begin to shut down and slowly dry out.
Caring for your pot grown tree
Pot grown trees are trees that have been grown in their pots from seedlings.
These have a higher chance of survival after Christmas.
Pot grown trees need to be watered regularly and at no point should they be left to dry out, as this will harm the tree.
It may be beneficial to re-pot the tree into a larger container, especially if you want to keep it for the next season.
For details on how COVID-19 is impacting tree care