If you’re having a real tree this Christmas you’ll need to get over another problem beyond just the regular threat of treading on pine needles.

That is, how can you keep the tree looking luscious throughout December?

London Christmas tree retailer Pines and Needles has these top tips on how to keep your tree in peak condition:

Prepare the trunk

Just before you install your tree, saw off the bottom inch (3cm) of the trunk. This creates a fresh cut and opens up the pores in the bark, which otherwise can block up with sap within a few hours of being cut. The tree is then able to drink water through these pores via capillary action.

They need routine

Do not expose your tree to sudden changes in temperature. Trees, like people, are creatures of habit and prefer steady conditions.

Keep it away from any heat sources

Position your tree away from any heat sources such as radiators and fireplaces. Heat dries out your tree faster, so the further from potentially damaging heat sources the better, and the fresher your tree will remain.

Water your tree

Place your tree in plain water - not soil or sand which would block the pores in the bark. This is best achieved by using a specially designed Christmas tree stand. Many precious hours can be wasted trying to make a Christmas tree stand up straight in an ordinary bucket using bricks or stones.

You wouldn’t leave a vase of flowers without water, so your Christmas tree should be watered regularly too. The average sized Christmas tree will drink two to three pints of water a day, depending on your central heating settings.

Make sure you keep on watering it.