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DIY Christmas tree stand

 
Posts: 68
Location: Eastern Great Lakes lowlands, zone 4/5
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I would like to harvest and bring a small fir tree into my house for Christmas. I don't own a Chrismas tree stand though and I don't want to buy one because I already have way too much stuff and don't want to support more manufacturing.

One option free of manufacturing is to buy a used Christmas tree stand. I will look for one of these locally.

Another option is to rig one together out of stuff I already have. People have been bringing trees indoors for winter for a long time, right? So I figure they probably found a way to do it decently before industrial manufacturing.

The requirements for a tree stand are that it keeps the tree upright/unlikely to tip over, and well-watered. I'm thinking to prune the bottom branches on a ~3" bottom-diameter fir so that it can fit in a 5 gallon bucket, fill the rest of the bucket with bricks and rocks to keep it upright and to help prop the tree up straight inside the bucket, then just manually add water to keep it half-filled or something. I'll put a towel under that to avoid splashes seeping into the wood floor and to help with cleanup.

What do you think, is that DIY stand promising? Any other ideas?
 
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How long do you want it to look good? If you're just bringing it in for a few days, maybe you don't need a stand that holds water.  The ones in town in the parking lot are not in water for weeks before they're purchased.  So if your tree is freshly cut, I bet it would look fine for at least a week.  I don't know this, it's just my supposition.
 
R Spencer
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Good point Mike. I will be cutting it fresh and want it to look decent for at least a week, even better 2. It makes me wonder though - maybe this is the question I mean to ask - how the heck did pagan peoples bring trees into their house for this wintertime tradition, prior to the invention of proper tree stands and all this manufacturing madness?
 
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The requirements for a tree stand are that it keeps the tree upright/unlikely to tip over, and well-watered. I'm thinking to prune the bottom branches on a ~3" bottom-diameter fir so that it can fit in a 5 gallon bucket, fill the rest of the bucket with bricks and rocks to keep it upright and to help prop the tree up straight inside the bucket, then just manually add water to keep it half-filled or something. I'll put a towel under that to avoid splashes seeping into the wood floor and to help with cleanup.



This is exactly what we did for years.  We would usually leave the tree up for three weeks and water occasionally with very hot water...small amounts as it didn't seem to evaporate. I'm not really sure that extra water was necessary though.

Sometimes I used pieces of firewood to wedge the tree upright but I think rocks and bricks are probably better for the added weight to the bucket to prevent tipping.  The hardest part was wedging it in straight.
 
pollinator
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I always used to drop the bottom in a bucket of water, and then screw a couple pieces of scrap lumber to the trunk, well up it, that were then screwed securely to solid wood shelves, in turn screwed into studs in the wall. Braces plus wall forming a triangle.

Overkill? Perhaps, but those trees never fell over when two 15lb cats chased each other up and down them...
 
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Overkill? Perhaps, but those trees never fell over when two 15lb cats chased each other up and down them...



I've always been a fan of the overkill method myself.  When we used to get full sized cut Christmas trees, I used a purchased stand (woefully inadequate but it held water) and then attached the tree with hefty screw eyes, one screwed into each side of the trunk about halfway up, tied or wired to two other screw eyes screwed into wall studs.  Our trees also were subject to cat attacks but the only victims were a few glass ornaments; the trees always stayed upright.  I would think that a bucket weighted with stones would have worked just as well, since my trees were primarily held in place by my tethering-to-the-wall method.

Cut evergreen trees will last a lot longer outdoors in a frozen state than they will thawed out in the heated indoors, so if you plan to leave the tree up for 3 weeks, water is advisable.

(At this point, I guess any advice about Christmas trees is intended for next winter.)
 
pollinator
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We did ours in a bucket filled with stones this year, it survived the cat, But I havn't found all the baubles she stole yet! I didn't leave it to chance though, I tied the top of the tree to an eyehook in the ceiling, so kitty could climb it as much as she wanted and it wasn't going to go anywhere.
 
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