How and When to Water a Christmas Tree

Updated: Dec. 06, 2022

Don't forget — your real Christmas tree needs regular watering.


An hour or less






Here are a few tips, tricks and devices to keep your Christmas tree hydrated and the nettles on its branches.

Tools Required

  • Hand saw
  • Tree watering funnel
  • Water pitcher

Materials Required

  • Tree preservative
  • Water

Bringing home a fresh cut, real Christmas tree is a great way to kick off the holiday season. However, if you want to keep your tree looking as green and fresh as the day you first set it up, you are going to have to water it, just like any house plant. Keeping it watered is also important to Christmas tree safety; dried out needles and limbs are a serious fire hazard.

With a little care and maintenance, the Christmas tree in your home will look fresh and vibrant throughout the holiday season.

Project step-by-step (6)

Step 1

 Cut the End of the Tree Trunk

  • Cut an inch off the bottom of the trunk with a hand saw or a chain saw before setting the tree in the stand. The fresh cut allows the tree to absorb more water.

Step 2

Christmas Tree Preservative

  • Adding a preservative to the water will help your tree absorb more water and last longer.
  • Miracle-Gro makes a popular tree preservative you can buy almost anywhere.
  • Or try this DIY Recipe: Mix one gallon of water with two cups light corn syrup, four teaspoons bleach, and four teaspoons lemon juice or vinegar (optional).

Step 3

How Much Water Does a Christmas Tree Need?

  • Fill the tree stand with tap water using a pitcher or watering can. A tree watering funnel comes in handy. Just be sure to keep an eye on the water level as you fill the tree basin.
  • Water your tree daily. A freshly-cut tree will absorb about a gallon of water in a day.

Step 4

Automatic Tree Watering Systems

  • You can use an automatic watering system to water your tree, but you still need to fill the watering system reservoir.

Step 5


  • Leave yourself a post-it note near the coffee pot or on the refrigerator as a reminder to water the tree.
  • Make a daily event in the calendar on your phone or computer and set an alert to remind you to water the tree.
  • When you’re decorating the tree, be sure to leave a little space somewhere where it’s easy to get to the basin to water it.
  • Don’t forget, water the tree! Happy Holidays!
Step 6

After the Holidays

  • When the holiday season is over, it’s important to deal with the tree. You don’t want to leave it in the house where it will eventually dry out and leave a pile of needles on your floor, not to mention make itself into a safety risk. There are several things you can do with the tree after the holidays, including DIY projects like making bean poles for the garden or stuffing it into a wood chipper. Most cities and towns have a collection point for old Christmas trees, and the easiest thing to do with your old one would be to take it there.