1. Select a fresh tree. The needles should be moist and not break when bent with fingers.
2. Store your tree out of direct sunlight and away from drafts.
3. Immediately before the tree is brought inside, make a half-inch fresh cut from the trunk and place it in water.
4. Initially, put hot water in the tree holder to remove any sealing pitch.
5. Use a Christmas tree stand that holds a gallon of water.
6. Check the stand every day for water and keep it full. Never allow the reservoir to become dry.
7. Keep your tree away from a direct heat source.
8. Miniature light bulbs are better than large bulbs because they generate less heat.
9. Christmas trees should last inside safely at least a few weeks. When a tree ceases to "drink" water, it should be removed from the house.
-- From the SUNY College of Environmental
Science and Forestry