In all the excitement of choosing the best Christmas tree, it can be easy to forget the essential accessories required to make it absolutely perfect.
A sturdy tree stand is crucial for keeping live trees from toppling or being knocked over.
Whether you've opted for a beautiful Norway Spruce or a majestic Fraser Fir, a Christmas tree stand is an essential purchase for anyone with a real freshly cut Christmas tree. Tree stands clamp onto the bottom of the tree to hold it upright and provide fresh water.
You may think of tree stands as large ugly contraptions that ruin the appearance of an otherwise perfect Christmas tree from childhood. These days, they usually combine style and practicality. While they're still unlikely to win any awards for outstanding beauty, they don't detract from the tree's appearance. If you prefer to keep the tree stand out of sight, they are easy to conceal with Christmas décor.
Why do I need a Christmas tree stand?
Firstly, Christmas tree stands are used to keep a live tree upright and stable. Without a tree stand, a freshly cut real Christmas tree would fall over as, without support, the trunk isn't wide enough to support the branches on its own.
Secondly, tree stands hold water, something that is vital for happy and healthy Christmas trees. Without being able to soak up moisture, the Christmas tree would be a rather sorry sight come December 25th! A tree stand allows the Christmas tree to absorb water freely to minimise needle drop and help it stay fresh enough to last the full festive season.
A tree stand acts as a water reservoir for your Christmas tree.
How do Christmas tree stands work?
Christmas tree stands work by holding the tree securely in place with enough weight to prevent it from toppling over. The stand has a space for the bottom of the tree's trunk to slot into and a tightening device to secure the tree and hold it steady.
The stand is then filled with water to help support your tree by keeping it hydrated. Bear in mind that the water level will need to be regularly topped up to prevent the tree from drying out, which would result in the needles shedding prematurely.
A Christmas tree stand is essential if you plan to choose a real tree for this year's holiday festivities.
How do I choose a Christmas tree stand?
The main thing to consider when choosing a tree stand is the size and shape of the tree. Choose the correct stand for the height of your tree as well as for the diameter of the trunk.
For taller trees, opt for a stand with a deep base for extra stability. Make sure the stand can cope with the width of your tree as well as the height. Unless you fancy topping up water levels more than once a day, check how much water the stand can hold and opt for the biggest you can.
You might also want to consider how the gripping mechanism works to secure the tree in place, and whether you'll find it easy to use. If you're planning to use stands to support trees in the garden you'll need to ensure they're suitable for outdoor use and is able to stand up to snow, wind and icy temperatures.
Here at Christmas Trees Direct, all our tree stands show the suitable height, trunk diameter and volume of water held at a glance, so it's simple to choose the perfect stand for your tree.
Always check the maximum height and diameter a stand can hold before choosing it for your family Christmas tree.
Available in a range of sizes for Christmas trees up to 8 feet tall, the Cinco Advantage tree stand is designed to hold up to two days worth of water. It is constructed from sturdy plastic that will hold your tree steady throughout the festive season. The low design makes it ideal for trees with plenty of foliage around the bottom, so you won't need to lop off branches to make the tree fit.
Always check the maximum height and diameter a stand can hold before choosing it for your family Christmas tree.
The Cinco Classic comes in 2 sizes for Christmas trees up to 7 feet and up to 10 feet tall. It is made from robust plastic with steel bolts to secure the tree tightly in place. This stand features a wide opening reservoir to make it easy to replenish water without getting scratched by needles. A spill guard prevents water from ruining carpets and flooring.
Cinco Express comes in a range of size options for trees up to an impressive 12 feet tall, making it the perfect Christmas tree stand for large trees. It is made from just one piece of thick polypropylene and features quick-release bolts to secure the tree quickly with no hassle. Clear instructions are printed on the label for ease of use.
This plastic and metal Christmas tree stand consistently appears on Top Pick lists. It features a foot pedal tightening device that is incredibly easy to use and provides equal pressure all the way around the base for a perfect fit. There is also a handy automatic water level indicator, which lets you see whether you need to top up water levels at a glance.
Krinner Premium Christmas Tree Stand.
Before you put your Christmas tree in the stand
It pays to be patient when putting up the Christmas tree, and before you place it neatly in the tree stand, there are a few things to do to ensure you get the best from your tree.
Cut the bottom of the tree
As soon as your tree arrives, cut around an inch off the bottom of the trunk. Since the tree has been harvested, sap will have hardened at the end of the stump to heal the wound caused by cutting it down. Chopping a little extra off the bottom removes this sap and allows your tree to absorb more water. Freshly cut Christmas trees soak up water through their bark, so be careful not to remove much when you make your cut. Place the tree in a bucket of water to rehydrate until you're ready to put it up in your home.
Remove loose needles
Give the tree a good shake before taking it inside. Doing this will get rid of any loose needles (much better to have to sweep them up from the garden than from the sitting room carpet!). It's perfectly normal for some needles to drop, particularly from the inner section of the Christmas tree.
Once your tree is rehydrated and shaken, you can crack on and set it up in the Christmas tree stand.
Setting the Christmas tree up in a stand isn't usually a one-person job.
How do I set up my Christmas tree stand?
Christmas tree stands are generally straightforward to set up, although it helps if you have another person to help, especially if you have a tall tree. If you've never stabilised a Christmas tree with a stand before, here's an easy step-by-step guide:
Choose the perfect spot for your tree and lie the stand flat on the floor.
Loosen any screws or clamps to leave a gap that is wider than the tree trunk.
Position the tree upright into the middle of the stand and slide it down into place,
Stand back and check the tree is standing straight.
Keep holding the tree upright as the screws or clamps get tightened up.
Let go of the tree and check it feels sturdy and stable.
Finally, fill the Christmas tree stand with water.
Tips for setting up your Christmas tree stand
You might want to place a protective layer between the tree stand and the floor. Doing this can help protect carpets and hardwood flooring from spillage. A non-slip item, such as a doormat, can work well.
Don't be tempted to add extra weight to the tree stand by adding sand or soil. These will reduce the amount of water the tree can absorb, which can lead to needles dropping.
If you need to taper the bottom of the tree to make it fit, then this isn't the best Christmas tree stand for your tree. Rather than cut into the base of the tree, choose a stand in a bigger size. Larger trees need the stand to have more surface contact with the floor, so even if you can make it fit, your tree is much more likely to fall over if it's squeezed into a Christmas tree stand that is too small. Your tree will also dry out faster if you whittle away the outer layers, which are most efficient at drinking water.
Setting up your tree stand away from heat sources, such as radiators, will prolong help your Christmas tree look fresh for longer.
What kind of water do you put in a Christmas tree stand?
This may seem like an odd question at first glance. After all, how many different types of water can there be?
Firstly, it's important to understand how vital a role watering plays in keeping your Christmas tree looking vibrant and healthy. Think of your trees like cut flowers and the stand like a vase. In a very similar way to the flowers, a Christmas tree soaks up water from the bottom, which means the vase or stand needs to be topped up every now and again. Without access to water, your tree will dry out, resulting in brittle needles that turn brown and drop off. Not the look you want to come downstairs to on Christmas morning!
A freshly cut Christmas tree doesn't have any roots and drinks water up from the bottom. This means it is impossible to over-water your Christmas tree. You might be surprised to learn that even smaller trees can drink up to 2 pints of water per day, with larger trees soaking up even more. In fact, when a tree is first cut, over half its weight is water.
Make sure you check the water level every day and top it up as required. The tree won't survive long without moisture so ensure the water reservoir never dries out.
As for the kind of water to use, plain tap water is just fine. You might be advised to add sugar, aspirin, lemonade or even vodka but most experts agree that plain water works best.
How to hide a Christmas tree stand
There's no denying that Christmas tree stands aren't exactly pretty, especially not compared to the twinkling lights and shiny baubles that adorn the rest of the tree. For this reason, most people cover their stand to make the bottom of the Christmas tree look more appealing for Santa to (hopefully!) leave all those presents underneath.
Christmas tree skirts are the most popular method of disguising tree stands. These are easy to use and can be stored with the rest of the decorations to be used each year. Tree skirts are available in a variety of materials, from luxurious velvety fabric to traditional wicker or wood.
Although aimed at real trees, tree skirts can also be used with artificial Christmas trees. They'll hide the stands and any unsightly wires or extension cords.
A Christmas tree skirt or collar is a great way to add festive charm while keeping your tree stand hidden.
Whether for an indoor or outdoor display, a Christmas tree stand is essential for keeping your live tree upright and preventing it from toppling over.
The best Christmas tree stands are sturdy, have secure screws for a perfect fit and hold plenty of water to keep your real tree nice and fresh right through into January. They can also be kept and reused year after year, making them an eco-friendly way to support even large trees.
The majority of Christmas tree stands come in shades of dark green, brown and black to blend with the tree itself. However, they can be easily hidden by placing tree skirts and presents around the base of the tree. So don't be tempted to pick a stand that looks great but may not be the correct size. If there is one piece of advice we can offer when it comes to choosing the best Christmas tree stand, it is to select one that is the perfect fit for your tree.