In all the years I have been answering questions, concerns and comments from consumers in my role for NCTA as the person who answers those, several trends have always been trends. Which makes them something more like a truth really.
Anyway, one of those is that when people describe a “bad” experience with displaying a fresh Christmas tree, the MOST COMMON cause behind the negative experience is that they were using a crummy tree stand. Either it was flimsy, not suited to their decorating style, not sized correctly to their tree, didn’t hold enough water, or some other simple design flaw.
Avoid the Most Common Mistake with Fresh Christmas Trees: Get a Good Tree Stand
Your Real Christmas Tree stand is an important part of your home’s holiday festivities. An obvious reason is that you can’t safely put up your tree without one. The good news is you have options for stands that can fit your space, your tree and personal preference or decorating style. NCTA recommends four types of stands because of their advantages listed below – and all of them include a large water reservoir that allows the plant to absorb as much water as needed. Absorbing plenty of water keeps the tree from dehydrating, turning brown, and the needles falling too quickly.
Where there’s a tree, there’s often a stand. Use our website’s Tree Locator to find retailers in your area. Many tree lots and farms also offer a large selection of stand. Precautionary note: Remember to match the stand's recommended maximum weight and tree size capacity.
Four Types of Stands NCTA Recommends:
The Center Pin Stand
This type of stand has a pin sticking up in the center of the water pan. Ask your grower/retailer to drill a vertical hole in the end of your tree’s trunk with a special drill machine made specifically for this purpose. The tree will then slide over the stand’s pin without the need for additional support. This style is good for trees with very low branches, if you prefer them to be close to the floor. Another benefit of this stand is quick and easy set up, but you do have to find a retailer with the correct drill machine to use.
The Two-piece Stand
This stand has a t-bolt and lock system that helps hold the tree straight. The removable water reservoir (that’s the second “piece”) is easy to fill and can be removed separately after you take the tree and its attached piece out. This style makes it easy for one person to make adjustments to get the tree straight in a vertical position.
The Four Bolt Stand
The simple design of this stand makes it very easy to use. Made of various materials, this style is probably the most common. This type of stand is typically available in many sizes for trees that range in height from four to 20 feet. The four bolt stand is good for trees with long “handles,” meaning the lower branches have been removed. It is also designed with a “lip” along the bottom, which catches any water spilled when filling. Many people find it easier to attach the stand initially when the tree is on its side, but only tighten the bolts down about 80%. Then set it vertical, adjust the tree’s angle and finish tightening the bolts. Do not be afraid of over-tightening the bolts, even if they penetrate the bark of the tree. This will NOT limit the tree’s ability to absorb water.
The “Clamp” Stand
This style has a foot pedal that adjusts the clamp and claw system and can make it easier for one person to set up their tree. It typically holds trees up to 9 feet high with trunks up to 7 inches in diameter. The stand's base holds up to 1½ gallons of water, making refilling easier. It is also a good fit for people with pets – they can’t easily get to or drink the water because it is enclosed within the structure of the stand.