Keep your Christmas tree fresh with these tips

This post has been updated. It was originally published on December 24, 2018.

After you’ve picked over the turkey carcass and officially bid farewell to Thanksgiving, it’s time to celebrate family and togetherness in a winter way: sawing off a life form’s vital organs, dragging it indoors, and keeping it unnaturally alive for several weeks. That’s right—we’re talking about Christmas trees.

Joking aside, that “alive” part is key. Nobody wants to gather around some drooping, brown-needled vegetation. Luckily, extending the lifespans of these plants is easy—if you understand the science behind it.

The different varieties to choose from

Most holiday conifers belong to the pine, fir, or spruce families of trees, although if you live farther south,…

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