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How to care for a Christmas tree that is drooping

Updated July 20, 2017

The idea of having a decorated conifer tree indoors was first introduced from Germany in the 1790s by George III's German wife Princess Charlotte and was then popularised in Victorian times by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. You can buy either cut Christmas trees or potted ones. The cut trees are essentially dying, although they should have enough life in them to last for the 12 days of Christmas. Potted trees are alive, and they can be grown outdoors throughout the year, coming inside for Christmas time. If your tree starts to droop before it's seen out the 12 days of Christmas, you can take remedial action.

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  1. Move your tree as far away as possible from direct heat sources such as radiators, electric heaters and open fireplaces.

  2. Place the tree away from draughts and position it somewhere where it will get some natural light.

  3. Check the water level in the tree's stand reservoir and top it up if necessary. Keep the water level high enough to immerse the tree's base.

  4. Feel the soil with your finger tips in the case of a potted tree. If it's dry, water it until the soil is moist to the touch. Maintain that level of moisture, but don't leave the tree standing in water.

  5. Put your potted tree outdoors if it starts to droop. Repot into a larger container to keep it healthy for re-use the following year.

  6. Tip

    When you get your cut Christmas tree home, saw off two or three centimetres from the bottom of the stump with a pruning saw. This allows the tree to draw in water more efficiently.

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Things You'll Need

  • Pruning saw
  • Christmas tree stand with reservoir
  • Pot
  • Potting compost

About the Author

Ken Macdonald lives in London and has been a freelance editor and writer since 1999. He has written on topics including travel, food and gardening for UKTV, Expedia and “The Guardian” website. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English studies from Stirling University in Scotland.

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