When you have purchased a real Christmas tree, you can look forward to your living room being filled with a natural pine scent during the holiday season. While natural trees are often less expensive than artificial trees, they do require a little more work to be sure they stand up straight in a Christmas tree stand.
Ask a friend or family member to help you set up the tree to avoid frustration and accidents. Also, add a Christmas tree skirt to cover the stand and protect the carpet; keep the water level at the correct height in the water reservoir to keep the tree fresh and prevent loose needles.
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Choose a tree stand
Choose a tree stand that is large enough for your Christmas tree. Most stands will specify that they are for trees up to a certain height with a maximum trunk diameter.
Make a fresh cut
Cut approximately 1/2 inch off of the bottom of the Christmas tree trunk with a saw immediately before you attempt to place it in the stand. This fresh cut will help the tree absorb water and stay fresh longer.
Loosen the tree stand screws
Remove the screws from the tree stand or loosen them as much as you can. Most tree stands have four screws that are tightened to hold the tree in place.
Insert the tree
Place the tree into the stand so that the bottom of the trunk is resting on the bottom of the tree stand. If any tree branches prevent the trunk from reaching the bottom of the stand, remove the tree from the stand and saw off the offending branches until the tree fits.
Center the tree
Center the tree in the stand and begin replacing and tightening the screws. Tighten each screw until it just touches the tree trunk and then move onto the next screw until all four screws are lightly touching the trunk. Have an assistant hold the tree in place during this step to prevent the tree from falling over.
Secure the tree
Check to make sure that the tree is standing up straight and is still located in the center of the tree stand. Tighten the screws as necessary until the tree is firmly held in place and does not wobble.
Do not attempt to whittle down the trunk of the tree or shave away the outer layers of the trunk to force it into a too-small tree stand. The outer layers of the trunk are more efficient at absorbing water than the inner layers, so removing them could cause your tree to dry out faster, making it a fire hazard.