Christmas Tree Basics
Check the height of the tree before you bring it into the house to make sure it'll fit under the ceiling. Then if you have to shorten the trunk, the sawdust will stay outside. Cut an inch or so off the bottom of the trunk. The fresh wood can absorb more water, so the tree will stay fresher longer. Check the trunk diameter by test-fitting the stand. If the tree's too big, you'll need to either get a bigger stand;—or start whittling. Use a lopper to trim any bottom branches that don't clear the sides of the stand.
Don't Cut Off the Netting?Yet
When you bring your tree home, carry it into the house and set it up in the stand before removing the netting. It'll slip right through doors, hallways and stairwells without making a mess. You'll find it easier to get at the tree stand screws and easier to tell if the tree is straight.
Cat-Proof Christmas Tree
Two or three lengths of fishing line can keep climbing cats or rambunctious kids from tipping your tree. Just tie one end of each line to the top of the tree and the other to something sturdy: a screw driven into an inconspicuous spot on the wall, moldings above windows or doors, or even a curtain rod. Get tips on hanging stuff on your walls here.