Many people who purchased their real holiday tree early this year may find its freshness and charm fading as Christmas approaches.

No need to fret, though, because Good Housekeeping magazine has some tips to make sure your tree still looks great this weekend, including:

  • For anybody who has waited until this week to get their tree, choose one that is healthy. How can you do that?
    • Look for a healthy, green tree with the least amount of brown needles
    • Select a tree displayed in a shady location instead of a sunny area
    • If you run a few branches through your hands, the needles should feel pliable and not fall off
    • When you raise the tree a few inches and drop the trunk, very few green needles should fall off
  • Ask whoever cuts the tree down to make a fresh cut across the base for maximum water absorption. Then, if you don’t plan to put the tree up right away, put it in a bucket of water. When you are ready to put it up, make another one-inch cut at the base of the trunk and put it in its stand with one gallon of water.
  • Always make sure the tree has enough water. For every inch of the trunk’s diameter, fill the stand with one quart of water. Tree preservatives and additives are not really necessary. According to the National Christmas Tree Association, lowering the temperature of the room can also help prolong the tree’s life.
  • Keep the tree away from heating sources like radiators, stoves and space heaters. If the tree is too close, it could dry out. Using a humidifier may also help maintain the tree’s moisture levels.
  • Take your tree down before it dries out. The longer you wait, the more dead pine needles you will need to clean up. You will have a few options to throw away your tree after you take it down: Composting, recycling or mulching. Contact your local township about waste management for more environmentally-friendly disposal options.

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