Tips for Setting Up a Christmas Tree Stand

eHow may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story. Learn more about our affiliate and product review process here.
Christmas tree stand

If you and your family are opting to forgo an artificial Christmas tree for a fresh-cut tree in your home during the holidays, the right tree stand is a matter of convenience as well as safety.


A Christmas tree stand should be wide enough to support the bottom of the tree while still making good, solid contact with the floor. Choose a tree stand that has an adequate water reservoir and accommodates the trunk of the tree you have selected. If you must taper the base of the tree to fit it in the stand, then you need a bigger tree stand for the safety of your home and family.

Video of the Day

Video of the Day

A good foundation for your tree will make your Christmas lights and holiday decor really shine. Take a read through these tips before heading to the tree farm this holiday season.

Width of the stand

A good Christmas tree stand should be at least 24 to 30 inches in diameter. The larger the diameter of the stand, the greater the support will be for the tree. This not only ensures that the tree is straight in the stand, but helps to avoid it tipping over. It's also important that the tree stand be big enough to hold the full diameter of the tree trunk. Tapering the base of the tree reduces the surface area that absorbs water.


Don't forget a festive Christmas tree skirt to cover the stand!

Location of the Christmas tree stand

When setting up a Christmas tree, opt for a space in your living room far enough from the wall so branches will not bend against the wall. If you must leave the stand in a place where the tree's branches push against the wall, trim the branches so that they aren't touching the wall. Branches that have too much contact with the wall can make it difficult to straighten the tree in the stand. You can always opt for a smaller tree if you're nervous about leaving enough room.



Keep the tree away from warmer areas such as vents or other heat sources, which can cause the tree to dry out and create a fire hazard.

Solid contact with the floor

The Christmas tree stand needs to have solid contact with the floor for stability. If you have a deep carpet in the room where you want to put your tree, put a sturdy piece of plywood under the stand (the tree skirt will cover it if you cut the board down to size).


Properly using the water reservoir

Live Christmas trees need to have their bases constantly submerged in fresh, clean water to keep the tree as moist as possible. Trees that are allowed to dry out are an extreme fire hazard. Some Christmas tree stands have a water reservoir in the base, which helps to keep the tree adequately watered.


A good rule of thumb is to fill the reservoir with 1 gallon of water, or add 1 quart for every inch of the tree trunk's diameter. Check the water level every day and refill it to the original surface level as needed.

Protecting hardwood floors

Metal Christmas tree stands can easily scratch hardwood floors as you position the tree. To protect your hardwood floors, put something on the floor where the tree will stand. Non-skid carpet backing or foam-based kitchen mats are good options. Also, make sure there is something under the stand to protect hardwood floors from unexpected water spills or leaks—it'll make clean up easier!



Report an Issue

screenshot of the current page

Screenshot loading...