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. Often trees bought from some retailers will have been cut in early November, so will likely struggle to remain fresh until Christmas.
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. Trees only really start to degrade when they come into a warm dry building. 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. We can do this for you if the tree is to go into a water stand within 24hrs.
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 such as fires, radiators or underfloor heating.
Keep the container topped up with water every day; you will be surprised how much it needs. There is no need to add anything to the water. Sugar, bleach or vinegar will do little to help the tree. If the tree does not take up water it should have the base trimmed in order to let the water flow again.