TOP TIPS: How to care for your real Christmas tree

Peter Burks, horticultural expert at, tells you how to care for your real Ch

Peter Burks, horticultural expert at, tells you how to care for your real Christmas tree. - Credit: Archant

North Devon gardening expert Peter Burks gives his advice on how to make your real Christmas tree last for as long as possible.

Nothing beats a real Christmas tree - and one North Devon gardening expert has some top tips on how to keep your Christmas tree happy.

Peter Burks, horitcultural expert at virtual garden centre used to run Eggesford Gardens and knows a thing or two about Christmas trees.

He said: “When selecting your tree there are lots of things to consider. Make sure you measure the space it will be put in as you don’t want a tree that’s too small or too big.

“Consider your colour scheme before making your selection.

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“The colour of the tree is important too as this helps show off your decorations.”

Caring for your tree

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As soon as you get your tree home, it’s important to store it somewhere cool, away from wind and sunlight.

The base should be put in a bucket of water to prevent dehydration. Peter added: “When you are ready to put your tree up, you should cut off 25-50 millimetres or one-two inches from the base of the tree before putting it in a stand that has water holding facilities.

“By doing this you will have broken the natural seal on the base of the trunk and the tree will be able to take up as much water as it requires.

“Before bringing your tree inside hold the tree upright and bang the bottom of the trunk onto the ground. This will remove any old needles.”

A cut tree will require water every day, and it’s important not to let it dry out.

“Once the tree is in its stand and in the correct spot remove the netting it has been covered with,” said Peter.

“Avoid placing the tree near a fire, radiator or warm lighting as it will dry out with the potential effect of causing needle drop or drooping branches.

“It’s also important to measure the height of the room too as you don’t want to buy a tree that’s too small or one that will scrape the ceiling.”

Which decorations?

Peter also advises considering which decorations you’ve got, before picking your tree of choice.

He said: “Don’t pick a tree that is too bushy if you have lots of dangling decorations as they will not hang well.

“If you have lots of low voltage lights a dense tree will give maximum impact.

“When viewing a real tree, give it a shake – if it is fresh there should be very few needles falling off.”

Environmentally friendly

As well as the welcoming pine smell and the festive feel, real trees are much better for the enivornment, said Peter.

They are grown as a field crop and as soon as one is cut, another is planted.

While not carbon neutral, Christmas trees can help to reduce greenhouse hases by absorbing carbon dioxide while they are growing.

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