HOW TO PREPARE A LIVE CHRISTMAS TREE
Make sure you cut off at least 2'' of trunk from the base of your new tree. You then can add sugar water to the tree stand and check it often. Very Important that you check the level.
What I use to do is put a large plastic bag( the length of the tree) around the base of the trunk(make sure you cut the bag so the trunk goes thru it) Then after the holidays are finito, all you have to do is remove the ornaments and lights and then pull the bag over the tree and drag that sucker out the door to the curb. The vast majority of needles will stay inside the bag.
Happy hunting for THE PERFECT TREE. Grab hold of the needles and see if they come off in your hand. If so, pass on that one. Douglas Fir or Frazier are great, but a bit pricey. Scotch Pine is an old reliable, but you have to really check them out because most are like Britney Spears ....bare in the middle.
The main thing to remember is once the tree's installed (after you've made a nice fresh cut and put it in water), is to never let the water level drop below the cut end.
If this happens, the exposed cut will dry out and its ability to absorb water is drastically reduced from then on. Check it often and keep the reservoir topped up. It will drink a lot of water, especially when it's new. So you have to be vigilant, but it's worth it.
We've had by far the best results with pine, Scotch pine seems to be most readily available here in the north, but if you can get a white pine with long soft needles, they're beautiful. Avoid any kind of spruce, at all costs. You'll be lucky if it has a single needle left by Christmas.
I know you're out tree shoppin'. I looked at a couple websites regarding the care and handling of your tree and one from the Forest Service says to just keep plenty of tap water in it all the time. Also, when you bring it home, freshly cut, stick it in a bucket of warm water till it's time to bring it in. You may want to put the bourbon in a small glass beside the tree for emergency purposes, as you attempt to untangle those dang mini lights that somehow managed to wind themselves up in a huge ball again.
Homemade Holiday Tree Preservative
1 Gallon hot water
1 cup light corn syrup
1 - 2 TB. liquid bleach
Mix ingredients together; be careful not to spill on clothing.
Store unused preservative in plastic gallon jug.
Keep out of reach of small children and pets.