Christmas Tree Preservation and Disposal

Christmas Tree Preservation and Disposal

Blue Seal has some great tips on how to keep your tree from drying out so it will remain lush and living throughout the season.

Whether you cut down a tree fresh or buy one from a lot, it will continue drink water for weeks. But it can do this only if the bottom of has not healed over with a protective layer of sap. Even if freshly cut , it may already partially or completely sealed itself up by the time you get home. To guarantee the tree can drink, you should cut 1/2" to 1" from the bottom of the trunk. Do this immediately before placing it in the stand in order to minimize the risk of the trunk healing over. If you aren't able to recut the tree trunk, then have someone at the tree lot cut it for you and bring the tree straight home.


Your tree will drink the most water during the first few days, so it is important to check 2-3 times daily in order to keep the reservoir filled. If the water level drops, the trunk will begin to heal over, which will prevent it from taking up water. A tree may drink a gallon of water, or more, every day.
Water additives. Forget about adding aspirin, fertilizer, seltzer, or glycerin to your tree's water. For keeping your tree lush and healthy looking we recommend using PROLONG®.  For the past 35 years PROLONG® has been America's most popular Christmas tree preservative. Safe for use around children and pets, this highly effective product, is the easiest and most convenient method of hydrating your cut tree, keeping it greener, fresher and safer throughout the holiday season. Trees watered with PROLONG® retain their needles longer and will absorb more water than they would otherwise, thus extending its life.

Trimming Your Tree

  • Trim branches from around the bottom 6" of the tree – more if your stand requires it or you like a more airy look. You'll want to remove about 1/2" off the bottom of the trunk to reveal fresh wood.
  • The most frustrating problem that comes along with an christmas tree stand is its tendency to tip over. Which is only made worse when it is full of water. So here are a few tips to help keep your tree upright.
  • Hang your tree from the ceiling. I's not as weird as it sounds, simply put a hook or eyelet in the ceiling and attach a strand or two of high strength fishing line to provide the small amount of extra support to keep the tree upright. This won't support the full weight of the tree, it just offers enough support to keep it from leaning. If you go this route, be sure to screw the hook onto a ceiling joist, stud or use a molly bolt to provide enough strength to hold the hook or eyelet in place. Alternatively, you can use two strings mounted from two locations in the walls to help keep the tree standing straight.
  • Another option is to fasten the base to the ground. Because you probably don't want to drive screws into your floor, screw the base onto a large piece of plywood. If the plywood base isn't big enough to provide the needed support, you can add some weights on top of the plywood to keep it in place.


At the end of the holiday season, don’t throw your natural tree away! Here are some tips on what to do with your tree after the holidays.

  • Have a non-profit in your area pickup your tree. Some boy scout troops are offering a pickup service for a small donation (often only $5).
  • Take your tree to a drop off recycling center. Most areas have free drop-off locations. Usually, you can take up to 2 trees to any drop-off location.
  • Curbside pick-up for recycling.
  • Most areas will collect trees during their regular pickup schedules on the two weeks following Christmas.

Check with the local laws in your area for any requirements or restrictions for recycling your tree or simply cut the tree down for home composting.

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