Once your tree is home clean it thoroughly from needles lodged among the branches.  If anyone suffers from allergies rinse the tree off with the hose, weather permitting, and allow it to dry before taking it indoors.  Look for any walnut sized brown egg masses of the praying mantis.  If you find any, clip off the branch and take it to your garden.  This beneficial insect will hatch in the Spring and provide helpful insect control in your yard.

Keep the tree in a protected area with the trunk in water until you are ready to decorate it.  Make a fresh cut straight across the trunk about one inch above the previous cut.  Immediately place the tree in the tree stand and fill it with water.  No additives are necessary or beneficial.  If you allow the water to drop below the bottom of the tree it will seal over and take up no more water.

Be sure to unplug the lights before retiring or leaving home.  LED lights are the safest option.  Set the tree away from heat sources such as fire places and heat registers.  These will dry out your tree and it will become brown and brittle.

There is no better Christmas tradition than taking the family to a Nebraska tree farm and selecting your very own tree.

For more tips, visit the national Christmas Tree Association website. http://www.realchristmastrees.org/All-About-Trees/Care-Tips