If you buy a natural tree, check the ends of the needles. Rub some of the sprigs between your fingers. If needles fall off, the tree is already dry. If not, it's a good one.
Cut 1 inch or so off the bottom before you put it into the stand, this will allow it to soak up more water and it will last longer. Keep the water level in your tree stand deep enough to cover the cut base of the trunk, so it can continue to absorb water.
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