If you’re truly as holiday-obsessed as the rest of us, chances are you opted to get on the Christmas tree train as early as possible this year—as in, the moment the last slice of pecan pie was finished on Thanksgiving.
But keeping a tree alive and looking fresh for an entire month between the two holidays is not as straightforward as picking out the perfect Fraser fir or Vermont white spruce. If you’re not diligent with your fresh tree care, instead of singing, “O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, you stand in splendid beauty,” you may end up muttering, “O Christmas tree, why are your branches so brown?”
We spoke to several experts to get their top recommendations on making your Christmas tree go the distance. Here are five things you’ll want to start doing the moment you get your tree home to ensure it’s still standing in festive cheer even after Dec. 25.