Make a fresh cut.

Make a fresh cut on the butt to open up the pores, which have been clogged by sap. Cut off at least one-half inch. If you do not make a fresh cut, the tree will not be able to drink water.
After the cut is made, put the tree in water as soon as possible. The longer the time between when the tree is given a fresh cut and when it is put into the water, the less ability the tree has to absorb water.
Even if a hole is drilled to accommodate a pin-type stand, a fresh cut also should be made on the butt.

Put in water.

Check the stand for leaks.
Place the tree in a sturdy stand, which will hold at least one gallon of water. Fill with plain water.
If the tree is not going into the house soon after purchase, it should be stored in a bucket of clear water on a cool porch or patio away from wind and sun in warm climates and protected from freezing and wind in cold climates.

Water Daily.

An average tree may consume between a quart and a gallon of water per day. If the water level drops below the cut end of the trunk, a seal will form and no more water will be absorbed by the tree unless another fresh cut is made. So don’t forget to add water every day.

Miniature lights produce Minimum Heat.

Miniature lights produce much less heat and reduce the drying effect upon a tree.
Always check light sets for frayed or cracked wire insulation and broken sockets before placing them on a tree. Do not attempt to repair a worn light set. Throw it away and buy a new set.
Do not overload electrical circuits.
Always turn off the lights of your tree when leaving your house or retiring for the night.
Never use lighted candles.

Keep Away From Heat Sources.

Place the tree away from heat sources such as heating vents, fireplaces, wood stoves and fireplace inserts, radiators, television sets or sunny windows.
Be careful not to block a door with the tree or rearranged furniture.

Remove Tree Promptly

Check for your local chipping and composting program with the parks and recreation department, local nursery or service organization.