Finding your Christmas tree can be one of the most exciting of moments in the festive calendar. Whether you head to a Christmas tree farm, a nursery or plan to rent a Christmas tree, picking the right tree for you – height-wise, width-wise and smell-wise – is an important process. And if you have a cut tree it doesn't mean you can't elongate the length of time your tree stays green and keeps its leaves: there are all sorts of tips and tricks to make sure your tree is as lovely as when you first spied it.


Wondering what's better, a real or fake Christmas tree? Read our guide.

Here's how to rent a Christmas tree

Here's our Christmas gift guide for gardening gift ideas

Christmas tree care: how to look after your Christmas tree

Buy the best Christmas tree you can

Making sure your Christmas tree is still alive come Boxing Day, getting your tree from a reputable, local source is a key way of ensuring its longevity. It needs to have developed healthy roots which means it will continue to support its leaves and branches for as long as possible. What's more, getting a tree from a seller that is eco and sustainably minded is good for the planet. Avoid buying a tree with brown leaves or branches that snap: it's a surefire sign that your tree is already not that happy already. Here's our guide on how to buy the best tree

Getting your Christmas tree

Give your Christmas tree some water, and make sure its topped up

Once you've popped your tree in its stand, always add water. While its roots may not be there anymore, the tree can still absorb water. This will help keep it hydrated and help to keep its leaves on its branches rather than on your floor.

If you're able, sawing off a few centimetres from the trunk. A little like you might with flowers from the supermarket. It will get rid of any hard sap and make it easier for the tree to drink.

Don't put your tree near a heater!

It's used to the cold outside, so avoid, at all costs, putting your tree near a radiator that you use regularly. The heat will dry the tree out and it will very quickly wilt.

Caring for Christmas trees in pots

It's a similar message for Christmas trees in pots, keep hydrated and don't over heat. A good thing to do with your tree in a pot is to acclimatise it to the heat before you bring it indoors properly. Could you pop it in a sheltered garage for a few days before you bring it into the front room?

When you've finished with it inside, do a similar thing to make sure it isn't shocked by the cold.


Once you've finished with it the first year, best to repot it in a bigger pot to give it some space to grow. And if you're leaving it in the garden, make sure its in a spot with lots of light.

Don't miss our Christmas hub page for all your festive needs


Daisy Bowie-Sell is digital editor of Gardens Illustrated. She has previously worked as a journalist for publications including the Daily Telegraph, WhatsOnStage and Time Out London