Are You Watering Your Tree the Right Way? | Fleming's Christmas Tree Farms | Indiana, PA Family Photographer

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There's two schools of thought on Christmas trees: real? or artificial? There's definitely pro's and con's to both (I think my definition of purgatory is fluffing artificial tree branches for eternity), but one of the biggest con's to a live tree (the watering part) can be solved once and for all by reading this awesome "hack." Side note - my husband hates the term "hack". You should text him right now that you're reading about my tree hack. He'll love it. 

Growing up, we always had a live tree. My dad was firmly on #TeamReal, and I remember fondly the sight of his legs sticking out of the tree as he watered it with an empty 2 liter bottle. Brandon and I have carried on this tradition, and how lucky are we that we live in the Christmas Tree Capital of the World, Indiana PA?! Every year we head out to Flemings Christmas Tree Farm and pick out the perfect tree. Three years ago, I got a little tired of the 2-liter method, and went searching for a better way to water the tree that didn't end up soaking me or my carefully curated and wrapped Amazon haul. Behold, the tree siphon. Using things you can find at home and at your nearest hardware store, you too can keep your presents nice and dry and stop army crawling under your festive shrubbery.

I hope you enjoy some sweet and fun photos of our annual trip to the tree farm! Keep scrolling for the how-to details on setting up the tree siphon!

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How To Start A Tree Siphon:


  • 3-4 feet plastic hose (1" diameter or less),
  • empty gallon jug with the top cut off. The opening should be big enough to put your fist through.
  • 4 cup glass measuring cup or other container to pour water
  • empty box big enough to hold the gallon jug and container using to pour water, wrapped like a present except for the top (left open)
  • wrapping paper
  • sharpie
  • 6" cut straight section of plastic hanger (optional)
  • zip ties (optional)


  1. Place your tree in the stand and secure it, but don't loosen the bailing ropes yet.
  2. Keeping track of how much water you put in, fill the base of the tree stand until its 2" or so inches below the brim of the stand. 
  3. Place the gallon jug in the wrapped box.
  4. Pour the same amount of water into the gallon jug as you did the tree stand, and draw a line on the jug with a sharpie where the water stops. This will be your water line so you can see what's in the stand at all times.
  5. Place the pouring container in the box beside your jug of water.
  6. If you are using the hanger piece and zip tie, place the hanger piece along the end of the tubing and zip tie, creating a "splint" at the end of the tube. Place this end (or just AN end if not using the hanger) into the tree stand.
  7. With this of the tubing securely in the stand, place your thumb over the other end of the tube
  8. Move your thumb just slightly back from completely covering the tube, and put the tube and your thumb in your mouth and being sucking the air out.
  9. Yep. You read that right. You WILL get water in your mouth. Sorry if that grosses you out, but it's so worth it not to crawl under the tree. Simply spit the water out, covering the tube with your thumb right away each time. You don't want to let air back in the tube.
  10. Once all air bubbles are out of the tube and it's completely filled with water, cover it with your thumb while it's still in your mouth. Look at the end of the tube where you're holding it. There should be no air in it at all. Keeping your thumb on the tube as you suck out the air helps IMMENSELY with this. Trust me. 
  11. Put your entire hand (with the tube) into the gallon jug and submerge it. 
  12. Let go of the tube and push it to the bottom of the jug.
  13. You may see little particles flowing through the tube. This is a GOOD SIGN!
  14. Slide the wrapped present box with your jug full of water and pouring container under the tree.
  15. Go brush your teeth.
  16. The next day (and after), re-fill the jug to the water line.
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