Choosing a Christmas Tree


  • Buy your tree from a reputable dealer.
  • Most cut trees were felled two months ago, so the tree's dying process has already begun.
  • Look for a green, moist tree.
  • Test for dryness:
  • Grab hold of a bough and pull gently towards you. If a large number of needles pull off into your hand, find another tree.
  • Hold the tree by the trunk near the top, then bounce the base of the tree on the ground. If a large number of needles fall off, find another tree.
  • Once you've located your tree, ask the seller to cut 0.75 inches to 1.5 inches from the base of the tree. This allows for better water absorption, and the tree will stay moist longer.
  • Make sure you have the means to haul your tree home. Don't allow the tree to obscure your vision, and make sure it is tied securely enough to your vehicle.
  • Place your tree in a sturdy stand and leave it in the garage or basement for a few hours to gradually adjust to warmer indoors temperatures.
  • Choose a location in your home away from heat vents, fireplaces, portable heaters, and fire escape paths.
  • Decorate your tree with only UL rated lights and decorations.
  • Use caution with extension cords. Don't overload electrical outlets and circuits.
  • Water your tree at least once a day, and more often if needed.
  • Check the tree daily for dryness. Consider removing the tree early if excessive dryness occurs.
  • Dispose of your tree properly. Recycle if you can, but do not try to burn your tree or other holiday decorations in a fireplace or wood stove.


For more information on Christmas tree safety, contact the Fire Department at 617-972-6512.