How to buy and care for your Christmas tree

POSTED: 8:11 AM Nov 30 2012   UPDATED: 11:11 AM Nov 30 2012
Christmas Tree closeup with ornaments and tinsel
ABILENE, Texas -

No matter the size, shape or species of Christmas tree you buy this year, there are some things you need to look out for before you buy one and after you bring it home.

"When you're buying one, one of the things you wanna make sure is that it's not dry," Phil Stone, department manager with Lowe's Home Improvement said. "You don't wanna buy one that has any kind of browning at all and you want to make sure the needles aren't loose so they're actually good and firm on that stem."

Once you make your selection and take it home, Garden World Manager Todd Hooper said you have to cut about two inches off the tree trunk.

"That allows that moisture to soak up through the trunk, keep the trees nice and healthy through Christmas," Hooper said.

Christmas trees require between one and two gallons of water per day, depending on their size.

"When it runs out of water it starts drying out. It'll actually form a seal on the bottom of that tree and it won't let it absorb enough water," Stone said.

"Once that [trunk] does get dry there's no way to get it to re-soak the tree except cutting it again," Hooper said.

The temperature of your home can also determine how much water your tree needs.

"If it's in a heated room, like if you got a furnace or a fireplace in that room, you're probably going to have to check it more often because it is gonna dry up faster," Stone said.

Dry trees also pose more of a fire hazard.