A real Christmas tree can be a beautiful ornament to your home. But if not properly maintained, your tree can turn into a dried-out mess of shed needles and waning fragrance. 

To avoid an untimely end to your holiday investment, we've gathered five vital tree care tips. Employing these tricks will reduce that annoying needle shedding and help extend your tree's life and lovely scent. 

1. Keep It Hydrated

Water is the best gift you can give your Christmas tree. It can absorb up to a gallon of water a day in the first few days and needs to be kept well hydrated. Make sure it is placed in a tree stand made for fresh cut trees where you can place water. 

2. Be Sweet

A mixture of one cup of 7-Up and four cups of water is a great to keep your tree hydrated. The Cork News says the combination provides nutrients that will keep the tree at its healthiest -- sugar and citric acid. 

3. Trim Your Tree (from the Bottom)

The Daily Local recommends trimming close to an inch off the base of your tree's trunk ahead of setting it up in your home. This allows the wood's pores to take in more water and reduces the shedding of needles. 

4. Keep It Cool

Much like flowers and other live, decorative plants, your tree should be kept far away from all heat sources. Other than being a possible fire hazard, heat also dries the tree out.

5. Store It Outside Before Installation

You should store your tree outside while waiting to put it up in your home to ensure it holds moisture.