First, check the ceiling height where you will display the tree. Try to select a tree at least six inches shorter than the ceiling height.
Do a freshness test. Gently grasp a branch between your thumb and forefinger and pull towards you. Very few needles should come off in your hand.
Once you select your tree, keep it in a sheltered, unheated area such as a porch or garage to protect it from the wind and sun until you're ready to decorate it.
Before you set up your tree, make a fresh, straight cut across the trunk (about a half-inch up from the original cut) and place the tree in a stand that holds a gallon or more of water.
Keep the tree stand filled with water. Sap will seal the stump within four to six hours if the water level drops below the tree base, preventing the tree from absorbing water. If a seal does form, you will need to make another fresh cut.
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