Decorated Christmas tree

How to prevent Christmas tree needle drop

Do it:

Dec

Takes just:

15 minutes

You can't beat a real Christmas tree, but fallen needles and bare branches don't look particularly festive.

To prevent needle drop, there are several things you can do, including choosing Christmas trees that drop less needles, and following a few simple steps beforehand.

Don't forget to take a look at some of the ways to put an old Christmas tree to good use in the garden, once the festivities have ended. 

Find out how to avoid Christmas tree needle drop, below.

You will need

  • Christmas tree
  • Christmas tree clamp
  • Bucket
  • Saw
  • Secateurs

Advertisement

When buying the tree, check that its needles are firmly attached to the branches. Look at the base of the tree where it was sawn and ensure it is pale. This means the tree is freshly harvested and will last longer than a tree which has been off its roots for a while.

Choose a good variety, such as the cone-shaped Nordmann fir or citrus-scented Douglas fir. They're more expensive than the traditional Norway spruce, but they hold their needles well.

Before you position and decorate your tree, take it out of its net wrapping and place it in a bucket of water in a cool, shady spot outdoors. This allows the branches to settle and rehydrates the tree. Give your tree a vigorous shake before taking it inside, to dislodge any loose needles.

You can't beat a real Christmas tree, but fallen needles and bare branches don't look particularly festive.

Saw a few centimetres off the bottom of the trunk to enable it to absorb more water. You can also score the bark roughly at the base of the tree, to maximise water absorption. If you use a water clamp to hold your tree, make sure it's big enough. Never peel off the bark to make it fit or the tree will dry out – water is only taken up through the tree in the layers just below the bark. Choose a cool spot indoors away from radiators and choose low-heat fairy lights.

Advertisement

Christmas tree chippings
Christmas tree chippings

Ways to use an old Christmas tree

  • Shred the smaller branches and use the chippings as mulch
  • Cut the larger branches into shorter lengths and stack in undisturbed areas of the garden to create wildlife piles
  • Use the thickest part of the trunk to create bee hotels by drilling holes into the end of the trunk. Tuck in a sunny spot

Discover more ideas and inspiration

Related content

How to make a classic Christmas wreath

Christmas daffodil pot display

Related offers

SAVE 10%

Subscriber only content

Greenhouse equipment

Subscribers will save 10% on greenhouse equipment and accessories at Harrod Horticultural (offer excludes greenhouses). Simply enter the offer code at checkout to claim your discount.

Unlock now

FREE P&P

Subscriber only content

Save £6 on witch hazel

Add winter colour to your garden with vibrant witch hazel 'Jelena'. Buy one plant for £12.99, or save £6 when you buy two for just £19.98, plus free p&p.

Unlock now

SAVE 10%

Subscriber only content

Save on winter flowers

Winter needn't be a dull time in the garden - subscribers can enjoy a 10% discount across the fantastic range of bright winter flowers at Crocus.

Unlock now