Ruffing's Tree Farm
My family has been putting up the same spruce trees that we sell for several decades. These are the steps that we personally follow when caring for our Christmas tree.
1. Don't cut the tree too early.
The Christmas season seems to come earlier every year, but the trees do not change. Don't expect the tree to last more than around a month.
2. Shake the tree.
Trees have dead needles on the inner branches. Shake the tree as well as possible before taking it into the house to keep them off of your floor. We do not have a machine, but if you would like us to shake it for you, please ask.
3. Make a fresh cut.
Cut at least an inch off of the bottom of the tree before putting it into water. The reason for this is because the sap from the original cut may have dried and hardened. This can create a seal which prevents the tree from drinking.
4. Do not peel the bark around the trunk.
The tree drinks in a layer right underneath the bark, so peeling this away in order to fit the trunk in a tree stand will prevent the tree from drinking.
5. Keep it watered.
Do not let the tree run out of water. If you let the tree go dry, the sap at the base of the trunk may dry and seal over, so adding water again later might not help. The base of the trunk should always be wet. We just use regular tap water.
6. Avoid putting it near a heat source or vent.
Putting the tree near a heat source or a vent will dry it out sooner, so avoid this.
7. Don't disturb the tree.
After the tree is decorated, it is meant to look at, not play with. Keep kids and pets away.
We usually have our tree up for a month. It looks nice the entire time, but we do lose a decent number of needles when removing the decorations.
Each type of tree is different, so what you have always done may not work if you have not had a spruce tree in the past.