It is essential that cut trees should be fresh when purchased. The needles should not be dull and dried up. The branches should not be brittle. The outer needles should not fall off if the tree is gently shaken.
After you have bought your tree it should be kept outside in a cool shaded place, preferably standing in water, until it is required indoors. Before bringing the tree indoors it is an advantage if about half an inch is cut off the butt in order to open up the pores of the tree. Mount it in a water-holding stand or wedge it in a bucket with pebbles, small stones or screwed up newspaper, and place it away from direct heat. Keep the container topped up with water every day; you will be surprised how much it needs.