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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?

Click to read also: STEM Activities for Kids Using Household Items

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, and we sit and admire the lights. 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 childrens’ water bottles from school to fill up the Christmas tree stand. The kids 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. So far, we have added 384 ounces (3 gallons!) of water to our tree. This is in addition to 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. 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 at Mama Smiles
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MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. Natalie PlanetSmartyPants

    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.

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