Christmas Science: How Much Water Does a Christmas Tree Drink?

Bring some STEM learning through this Christmas science experiment. How much water does a Christmas tree drink?

Christmas Science: How Much Water Does a Christmas Tree Drink?

This year we were very excited to get a real Christmas tree! In Massachusetts we had an artificial tree that a friend gave us, and then for the past two years we used a small artificial IKEA tree. This year, Mike took Johnny, Lily, and Anna to find a Christmas tree, and they brought back a beautiful one! We have been thoroughly enjoying our beautiful tree. The kids play around it, we sit and admire the lights, and we are even using it for a bit of Christmas science!

Christmas Science: How Much Water Does a Christmas Tree Drink?

I have been using the kids’ water bottles from school to fill up the Christmas tree stand, and they are amazed at how much water this Christmas tree needs! Every day we count how many water bottles of water we have to add to the tree stand. One water bottle holds 12 ounces of water.

We have now had our tree for one week, and we have added 384 ounces (3 gallons!) of water to our tree – beyond the water we initially used to fill our tree stand. This means that our tree drinks just under 55 ounces of water a day, or just over 4.5 water bottles full of water day.

We are hypothesizing that our tree will drink less water each day since the water is only extending the freshness of the tree, and not really keeping it alive. So far that seems to be correct, but we need to gather more data since the tree seems to be thirstier some days than others. We haven’t figured out why that might be the case. Do you have any suggestions?

The world is full of fun science experiments if you take a moment to look and find them! Do you have a fun Christmas themed science experiment for us to try?

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MaryAnne lives in Silicon Valley with her Stanford professor husband Mike and their four children. She writes about parenting through education, creativity, and play. Mama Smiles - Joyful Parenting is a space to share crafts, hands on learning activities, and family outings that enrich lives and bring families together.

11 thoughts on “Christmas Science: How Much Water Does a Christmas Tree Drink?”

  1. This is a cool bit of Christmas science. I was never able to keep a cut tree fresh for longer than about 10 days – we use an artificial tree that we can enjoy all month long :) We bought ours when our daughter was a baby, so it’s its 10th Christmas!

    1. How fun that the tree is (roughly) the same age as your daughter! This one is staying fresh so far, but we are only on day 8. They cut the stump for us right when we bought it, and I am hoping that that combined with how much water it is currently drinking will keep it fresh until Christmas.

  2. Apparently our tree doesn’t drink as much, or I’m not as good at watering it. Either is possible, but I haven’t added that much since we’ve put it up.

    1. Did you make a fresh stump cut when you brought it home? Apparently that makes a huge difference. Ours is also a very full tree, and almost 8 feet tall, so that could mean that it needs more water also.

  3. Elisa | blissfulE

    I gave a Toastmasters speech about keeping cut Christmas trees green and healthy once, but that was ages ago and I don’t remember the details. However, I did find several recipes on the internet back then -involving sugar, I think – which were meant to slow the process of the tree drying out. As I’m sure you know, a dry tree is not only unpleasant to look at, but also a fire danger. I’m glad you’re keeping yours well-hydrated!

  4. I had never thought to measure how much water a Christmas tree consumes, but yep, it’s a lot! And I have no idea why it takes in more some days than others.

  5. Pingback: 20 Christmas STEM Activities - Mom For All Seasons

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