I bought a cut Balsam Fir yesterday for a Christmas tree. We did a new clean...

Asked December 5, 2015, 4:04 PM EST

I bought a cut Balsam Fir yesterday for a Christmas tree. We did a new clean cut of the trunk and put it in the stand with water. The tree is beautiful, soft and green but is not taking up any water. I've never had that happen before. Anything else I can do to get it to drink water? Thanks for you advice.

Hennepin County Minnesota

1 Response

Thank you for the question. It sounds like your tree is very fresh and you did the right thing by cutting a "cookie" off the bottom of the trunk so that if the tree needs to, it can absorb water. Make sure that you cut about 1/4 inch off the bottom of the tree before placing it in the water. Any less and the resin may be too hard for the tree to uptake the water. It is also important to place the freshly cut trunk in water right away. Sources differ on how soon trees need to be placed in water after the cookie is removed but it's safe to say that if 4 hours or more elapsed from the cut to being placed in the water, resin could have hardened over and blocked the trees ability to absorb it. If this is the case, simply cut another cookie off the bottom and replace it in the water right away.

Our fall has been moist and warm so it's possible that your tree was very freshly harvested and didn't need much water to being with. You may notice it absorbing more as the days go by. Cooler home temperatures, higher humidity, and smaller tree size will also result in a tree that needs less water.

Read here to learn more about caring for your cut Christmas tree: http://ohioline.osu.edu/for-fact/0049.html

Thank you for contacting Extension.