Insider Tips: How to Make Your Christmas Tree Last Longer

Tips for the care and keeping of your new perennial pet.
Decorated christmas tree
Photo: Courtesy of Helemano Farms


If you’ve been procrastinating on getting a Christmas tree, don’t worry, there’s still time to pick one up and take it home from these two farms on O‘ahu. We even have a few insider tree tips and trivia from the pros.


​Helemano Farms

Helemano farms christmas tree
Photo: Courtesy of Helemano Farms

There are 400 to 500 Norfolk pine and 100 Leyland cypress trees left for sale at Helemano Farms in Wahiawā, and, while that still sounds like a lot, the farm started out with almost 2,500 trees. Helemano Farms, which grows its own trees, will be open until Dec. 23, but owner Aaron O’Brien says the Leyland cypress trees are selling out fast.


Tree Tab

While most trees start at $45, there are a few Charlie Brown trees that start at $15, so, if you’ve spent all your money on gifts but still want to treat yourself, these would be the way to go.


Tree Trivia

Helemano Farms plants a new stand of Leyland trees every year, and the Norfolk trees grow back to 6 to 7 feet in about four years, after being cut. Leylands are evergreens with a light pine scent, and a bit more sparse than the Norfolks. Leylands last about a month, maybe a bit longer, and the Norfolks last three to four months.


Tree Tip

“For both types of trees, all you have to do is fill the tree stand with water. You can just use tap water,” says O’Brien. “The Leyland can take a little more water, so keep checking the stand and adding water.” No preservatives necessary, because they’re grown here. But, if you do want to use preservatives, you can use sugar and water, or even Sprite.


1750 Whitmore Ave., Wahiawā, 622-4287,


Ko‘olau Farmers

Koolau Farmers christmas tree
Photo: Courtesy of Ko‘olau Farmers

Ko‘olau Farmers’ main location in Kāne‘ohe just got its last shipment from Oregon of Noble, Douglas, Nordmann, Grand and Frasier fir trees. That means there’s an assortment of 75 to 100 trees left. According to assistant manager Joshua Keamo, the other three locations in Kalihi, Mō‘ili‘ili and Kailua are running in low supply, so Kāne‘ohe would be your best bet for a good selection. The smallest trees are 2 to 4 feet and the biggest 7 to 8 feet. The farm will keep selling the trees until they run out or aren’t in sellable condition.


Tree Tab

The 5- to 6-foot Noble, Frasier and Nordmann trees are $74.99 and the Grand and Douglas firs of the same height are $64.99. The prices may go down to about $10 less later in the month.


Tree Trivia

The Frasiers have two-tone needles—green on top and silver underneath. They’re on the skinnier side so are nice for smaller homes. They also have a more citrusy smell, while the Grand firs have a sweeter scent. The Nordmann is a hybrid between the Noble and the Frasier, with a wider, longer needle. The Noble tree lasts for a long time and can grow more than 200 feet high in the wild.


Tree Tip

When you take a Ko‘olau Farmers tree home, don’t put it immediately in a stand. Instead, put it inside a five-gallon bucket and soak it in water outside in the shade for about a day. The tree will drink up the water, and then you can put it in a stand. “If you put it in the stand right away and don’t watch it, there’s usually not enough water left because the tree drinks up so much water at first,” says Keamo.


Ko‘olau Farmers Kāne‘ohe, 45-580 Kamehameha Highway, 247-3911,