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Real Christmas Tree {All Your Questions About Live Christmas Trees Answered}

Interested in a real Christmas tree this year? We are answering all your questions today!

Whenever I post pictures of our Christmas tree, I always get some questions. 

Fact is, we don’t always buy a live tree, but I love it when we do! It’s hard to beat the look, feel and scent of a live Christmas tree.

In addition, there’s just something magical about the tradition of going out, choosing a tree, coming home and trimming it together as a family. For families who purchase real Christmas trees, it’s often a treasured holiday memory.

real christmas trees

Real Christmas Tree

Getting a real Christmas tree does have it’s drawbacks, though.

Live trees do require some care and maintenance. If you get a real Christmas tree too early, there’s a chance that it will die before Christmas (and no one wants that happening!)

There’s also some debate about which is better for the environment: a fake tree or a real one.

I’m going to take you through these questions, and more. Read on to learn all about real Christmas trees…

Which is better for the environment?

This is a complex question and the answer is “it depends.”

It turns out that about half of Christmas trees purchased are artificial. Many factors can influence this choice, but the bottom line is this:  both real and artificial Christmas trees have negligible environmental impacts.

Which option is preferable in terms of carbon footprint depends in some part on how long consumers will keep an artificial tree versus how far they would drive each year to purchase a real tree.  Overall, it seems as though the environmental ‘break-even’ point between a real Christmas tree and an artificial tree is approximately 5 years. In other words, consumers would need to keep artificial trees for five years to offset the environmental impact of purchasing a real tree each year.

It seems, then, that real trees aren’t that much better or worse for the environment than artificial. If you buy an artificial tree and plan on keeping it for years, that may be the greener option.

How much does a real tree cost?

 In 2015, the average price for a living Christmas tree was $63.88; last year it rose to $73.24, a 17 percent increase from two years earlier, according to Square.

Artificial trees, on the other hand, start around $200 (this is if you choose a quality tree) and have a life span of 5-7 years.

live christmas tree

How long a live Christmas tree will last?

According to, A real evergreen will no doubt make a festive and fragrant addition to your home, but most trees last weeks (up to four weeks on average), not months.

The moist stem and branches will dry and needles will transition from vibrant dark green to brown, then begin to fall.

When should you buy a real Christmas tree?

Fresh cut trees last up to four weeks on average, so you need to decide how long you want your tree up, and work backwards from there. 

Some people take their tree down the day after Christmas, which would mean putting it up about November 26th, others leave it up until the first or second week of January, in which case you’d want to wait until December to purchase your tree.

How do you take care of a real Christmas tree?

After inserting your tree into your Christmas tree stand, fill the stand with one quart of cool tap water for each inch of stem (e.g., use a gallon of water for a tree with a four-inch stem) within two hours of getting it home.

Monitor the water level each day (I tend to check morning and evening) and add more as needed to keep the bottom two inches of trunk submerged. Watering requirements are usually the highest during the first week the tree is up and decline in subsequent weeks.

You may be able to extend the life of your tree to five weeks if you ask upfront about the tree cutting date.

Christmas trees are cut from mid-November to mid-December, so don’t assume that all trees you find for sale were freshly cut. If buying a pre-cut tree, ask when the trees on the lot were cut. Choose one that came down recently (within the week, if possible) so that it preserves its looks through the season.

Can I order a Christmas tree online?

If you want to skip the lines at Home Depot, Lowes, or your local Christmas tree farm, there are plenty of options for ordering a real tree online.

Probably one of the easiest places to get a Christmas tree online is Amazon (if you’re like me, you get everything else there anyway).

A quick Google search will yield you plenty of other options for purchasing your live tree online.

I hope this answered some of your live Christmas tree questions! Leave a comment if you have a question I didn’t answer, and I’ll try to answer it!

Thanks so much for reading all about Real Christmas Tree {All Your Questions About Live Christmas Trees Answered}. Have a lovely day.