Want a lasting Christmas tree? Here's what you need to know


One Houston woman says her fresh-cut tree started wilting less than a week after she bought it. So here's how to prevent that from happening to you.

Every ornament on Robyn Davis' Christmas tree has a story. But the tree itself has a less-than-merry tale.

"I thought, uh oh, I am going to have a problem," Davis said.

Davis says the tree never absorbed any water so needles started falling off after less than a week in her home, so Davis says she called Houston Garden Center, where the tree was purchased.

"They let me know that all sales are final and they would be happy to recut the tree for me," Davis said. "But at that point, the tree had already started to dry a little bit and droop."

Houston Garden Center told us the same thing, all sales are final and they did offer to cut a few extra inches off the trees trunk because that might get the tree to start drinking water again.

"And I asked if they would replace the tree with a fresh one and they said no, that was not something that they would do," Davis said.

It turns out cutting a little extra off the trunk may not have helped.

"Once it stops taking up water, there is not much you can do to get it to start absorbing water again," said Skip Richter with the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

Richter says the moment a tree is cut, it starts dying. But he says fresh-cut trees should last through the holidays.

The key, he says, is picking the right tree from the start.

The end of the branches should bend, not snap. Needles should not fall off when you run your hands across the branches. And avoid trees that look or feel dry.

"It is going to continue to dry out even more, so you'll be losing needles in that tree quickly," Richter said.

As far as adding aspirin to the water, or a penny, don't bother; the tree should last if it was fresh when you bought it.

And of course, ask about return policies before buying a tree.

Copyright © 2024 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.