BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Decorating your Christmas tree can be a much-needed mood booster, especially during a pandemic. Many carry out the practice of hunting for the perfect tree, stringing lights, and hanging stockings all before Thanksgiving. Other holiday decorators wait until closer to Christmastime to deck the halls but will keep the decor on display until well after the New Year.

Either way, both types of avid Christmas-lovers, if opting to cut down a live tree, will need a conifer fit for the long haul. Caring for a live Christmas tree correctly can make for more days or even weeks to enjoy its natural beauty and woodsy fragrance.

Here’s how to make your tree last this holiday season:

The most obvious tip of them all, and what every living organism needs at some point or another, is water. Displaying your tree in a reservoir stand with fresh water is the best way to keep your tree fresh and minimize needle drop.

The temperature of the water does not matter, but checking the water level is crucial. It is recommended to do this first thing in the morning and last thing at night to monitor how quickly the tree absorbs water. According to the National Christmas Tree Association, drilling a hole in the bottom of the stump does not improve water uptake. While some swear by tree preservatives or sugar for long-lasting trees, tree growers say additives make little to no difference and that plain ol’ water does the trick.

While the temperature of the water may not matter, the temperature of the room does. Per the National Christmas Tree Association, “lowering the room temperature will slow the drying process, resulting in less water consumption each day.” It is recommended to use lights that produce little heat and to keep trees away from major heat sources like fireplaces, heaters, and direct sunlight. Failing to do so could lead to a disastrous scenario.

Whether you’ve been gathering ’round the Christmas tree for a month now or you’ve yet to scrounge around in your attic for the ornaments, the Christmas tree is a centuries-old tradition that undeniably makes the holiday season brighter.