Joe Phelan, owner of Gulf Pond Trees in Perkinsville, Vermont (802-263-5458), offers these hints for keeping a fresh-cut evergreen healthy:
1. Take a thin slice off the trunk, place the tree outside in a bucket of water, and protect it from the wind. Leave the net on.
2. When you’re ready to put the tree up, cut the trunk again and place the tree in the stand.
3. Bring it into your house and fill the tree stand with 180 degree water (use a meat or candy thermometer to get the correct temperature). Remove the netting, then decorate.
4. Don’t let the stand run dry — if it does, you’ll have to start over.