If you're home is decorated for the holidays with a real Christmas tree, there are ways to make it last longer. With a little care, you can have it looking great for at least a month.

The Lancaster Eagle Gazette, provided tips to keeping your Christmas tree fresh from Kathy Smith, forestry program director in the Ohio State University School of Environment and Natural Resources.

The Fresher the Better

Get a fresh tree by cutting it yourself

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Shake, Shake, Shake

If you buy a pre-cut tree, shake it first. A fresh tree will lose few if any needles.

Re-Cut the Pre-cut

Saw off an inch or so at the bottom of your pre-cut tree. Sap seals the original cut and this will help the tree soak up water

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Water, Water, and More Water

If your tree stays outside for a few days, put the trunk in water. If it's indoors, water regularly. Keep the tree stand full at all times. If water drops below the bottom of the tree, sap will seal the trunk and you know what happens next.

Keep Cool

Store your tree in an unheated garage or on a covered porch until you're ready to bring it in the house. Once you bring it in, either turn down the thermostat or close the heating vents near the tree to slow it from drying out.

Avoid Heat

Keep the tree away from direct sunlight, radiators and the fireplace. It'll not only help slow the drying process, it'll avoid any possible fires with sparks catching the branches on fire.

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