I put up a fuss years ago when my wife wanted us to make the switch from a real Christmas tree to a fake one. When I was growing up my family got a real tree every year and it was just part of the holidays. I ended up giving in and begrudgingly agreed to go with a fake tree. After making the change I'll never go back to a real tree. You can grab it from the garage anytime you want it, there's no watering, no messy pine needles, you don't have to find a way to get rid of it, and you save money not having to buy a tree every year.

I guess I haven't really paid attention to tree prices over the last few years. But I've noticed a few places with real trees for sale this year and I had to do a double-take when I saw they cost $60, $70, and even $80! Yikes! I saw some outside of a store last night and they looked like they were about dead with almost three weeks still to go until Christmas.  It got me wondering about the best ways to extend the life of a real Christmas tree and I wound up on the internet looking for solutions to a problem that I don't even have!

After a bit of poking around here is a collection of suggestions I found that might help you get your money's worth when it comes to having a real tree.

Choose the healthiest tree. Green = good. Brown = bad.

Put it in water immediately. Water is the most important thing to preserving your tree.

Trim about half an inch off the trunk to allow the tree to suck up water.

Keep your tree away from any type of heat source that will dry it out. That includes too much direct sunlight.

Keep your tree in a cooler area of the house.

Use LED lights because they don't emit much heat.

Some say to add things like sugar or bleach to your water to help a tree last longer but it seems like regular water is what the experts suggest. Water, water, and more water.

What's YOUR trick?

Do you have any methods that you swear by for keeping your tree healthy? Good luck keeping yours as fresh as you can this year. My simple Christmas wish for you is that you don't find pine needles for days and days after you take down the tree!

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