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How To Store An Artificial Christmas Tree: The Guide To Proper Christmas Tree Storage

Posted by Parker Eakin on September 29, 2020

How To Store An Artificial Christmas Tree: The Guide To Proper Christmas Tree Storage | Christmas World

There is a common misconception that artificial Christmas trees are expensive. When broken down, even the upfront cost of a nice artificial Christmas tree is minimal when the cost per year of a tree’s lifespan is put into perspective. At least that is the case when the tree is properly taken care of.

On average, households need a new artificial tree once every couple of years because the holiday lights keep going out, the branches keep falling apart, or the flocking (fake snow) on the tree falls off. One of the biggest causes of these issues is storing your artificial Christmas tree improperly.

So, how should you be storing your tree? The cardboard box that your tree comes in may seem like the best storage solution. In fact, it’s probably what you’ve always used; but the tree never quite fits back in that tree box does it?

The problem is, those boxes are barely big enough to fit your artificial tree when it is perfectly unfluffed and compressed right after manufacturing. As soon as you fluff your tree, you will never be able to get it as small, or as un-fluffed as before.

No matter how much duct tape you put around that tree storage box, and no matter how hard you push that tree into that box, you’re still going to have a bulging hunk of cardboard that crushes the lights, flusters the flocking, and a tree-trunk pole poking out of a hole torn into the cardboard.

Preparing Your Artificial Christmas Tree For Storage

Your artificial Christmas tree is only a wise long-term investment if you take good care of it. Cleaning your Christmas tree before storage is one simple way to make sure it stands the test of time. Plus, cleaning at the end of the season will save you time and stress when it’s time to unpack your tree the next year.

Many trees gather dust as they adorn your home during the festive season. Luckily, removing dust from your Christmas tree before storage is much easier than sweeping up pine needles all season long!

If your tree is pre-lit, you will have to take extra care to avoid damaging the bulbs. Use a dry dusting cloth or fiber duster and carefully clean each branch. It can be helpful to start from the top, working your way downward toward the more robust branches near the bottom. You should not need to use any cleaning products.

The same is true for pre-decorated or professionally decorated trees. You will want to carefully dust each bulb or ornament before storing your Christmas tree.

If your tree is not pre-lit and you have removed all decor, it may be safe to use a vacuum attachment to quickly and effectively dust your tree. We recommend an upholstery attachment for safe and efficient cleaning.

Note that if your tree includes flocking or frosting (typically, the look of fake snow on the needles), you should not dust the tree. This could damage the finish and diminish its appearance.

As a general rule, do not wash your Christmas tree with water, as this can cause mold to form. If there is already mold on your Christmas tree, wear proper protection, such as masks, and remove it using a hair dryer set to cool. It may be helpful to remove the mold outdoors, where you are least likely to inhale any spores.

Store Your Artificial Christmas Tree Properly

By now, you must know that your cardboard box only has one good use, and that is to be recycled. To lengthen the lifespan of your artificial tree, consider ditching the cardboard box, and invest in an artificial christmas tree storage bag.

Since there are so many options to consider when choosing your storage bag, it’s important to know certain details, like the girth and height of your tree, before you invest in your tree’s future off-season home. The infographic below outlines a few things to consider when choosing the perfect bag to store your tree:

Tree Size - It's Not Just The Height

Many people only consider the height of their Christmas tree, but there are different widths of holiday trees as well. The width, often referred to as the tree’s girth, is measured at the base of the tree, where it is the widest.

While there is no standard to these widths, we see 3 typical categories in which they fall into: slim (“narrow”, “skinny”), regular (“traditional”, “medium”, “standard”), and wide (“full”, “XL”, “girth”).

Always read the product details to verify, but as a general rule of thumb, these dimensions can help you decide which bag you need:

Topiary & Foyer Bags:

Fit: Under 6 ft Tall - For Topiary Trees and Foyer Trees

Medium Bags:

Fit: 6ft - 7.5ft Tall - Slim or Regular Base

Large Bags:

Fit: 7.5ft Tall - Wide Base, 9ft Tall - Slim or Regular Base

XLarge Bags:

Fit: Up to 9ft Tall - Slim, Regular, or Wide Base

XXL Bags:

Fit: 12ft - 15ft Tall - Slim, Regular, or Wide Base

This infographic will help you determine what kind of storage bag will fit your tree best.

Infographic: Correctly Storing Your Christmas Tree 3 sizes of upright christmas tree storage bags from TreeKeeper Bags

Orientation of Christmas Tree Storage: Horizontal vs. Upright

In the past, most people took their tree apart into three sections to fit into their tree storage container and then stored the tree by laying it down flat.

Now, there are plenty of storage options that make it possible to leave the sections of the tree stacked and store the tree vertically. There are several reasons this can be beneficial, whether you have limited storage space or just want an easier holiday season set up or tear down.

This method of using an upright tree storage bag isn’t for everyone, so knowing whether you plan to store your tree vertically or horizontally is important when choosing the right Christmas tree storage option. This method can work for a pre-lit Christmas tree as well.

Storing Specialized Artificial Trees

Specialized artificial trees are growing in popularity as aesthetic tastes change. These include fiber optic Christmas trees, which are desirable due to their energy-efficient beauty. Likewise, pencil-style trees (tall, narrow Christmas trees) have a unique shape that makes them aesthetically pleasing and space-efficient.

As always, we advise you to take measurements and use those when choosing a Christmas tree storage bag or box. You may be surprised to learn that your fiber optic tree, once unplugged, is a good fit for our standard upright tree storage bag.

When it comes to storing artificial pencil trees, the height is the most important dimension. Any standard storage bag that accommodates trees up to that height should also adjust to accommodate your pencil tree’s girth.

If you want to store artificial topiary trees, you will need a smaller storage solution. We recommend our topiary tree storage bags, with design elements that keep dust and debris out in between uses.

EZ Roller Christmas Tree Storage Bag with Wheels from Santa's Bags

Decorated vs. Undecorated

Often, when someone has a tree professionally decorated, the ornaments will be attached to the tree with wire ties to keep them in the correct place. This is a great way to avoid paying a professional each year to have it decorated.

However, this method doesn’t allow you to fold up the branches on the tree. Because the decorated tree cannot be disassembled to store, it needs to be stored upright and fully decorated with all parts intact.

The best way to store and protect a permanently-decorated tree is by using a decorated upright tree storage bag.

Decorated Upright Christmas Tree Storage Bag from TreeKeeper Bags

Materials, Wheels, and Other Features

Quality material is important if you want your artificial tree storage bag to last for years, as well as to properly protect your Christmas tree. Chances are, if it's too inexpensive, or looks cheap, then it will have thin, terrible quality material.

Every tree storage bag at Christmas World uses high-quality, thick material (typically a durable polyester), that protects from rips and tears, keeps your tree safe, and is easy to wipe clean.

Wheels may not be necessary for all instances but for larger trees, wheeling the bag is much easier than trying to carry an oversized bag around. For upright tree bags, we suggest adding a rolling tree stand.

Nothing is more frustrating than packing up your tree to move the storage bag to its ‘off-season’ home, and your handles break. Some bags even include reinforced convenient carrying handles, and this helps avoid scratches on hardwood flooring and scuffs on the walls (and a broken back) because the supporting handles allow you to carry your tree to its destination without dragging it throughout your home.

Heavy Duty Wheel on the XXL Christmas Tree Storage Dolly

A Few Last Tips for Proper Artificial Tree Storage

Keep your stored tree in a dry area. Though your tree may be artificial, moisture accumulated during storage can still cause some damage. Whether it be the needles on the tree, the wiring and lights, or something else, water or humidity can harm your tree. If possible, store your Christmas tree indoors, in a dry and less humid area.

Label everything! When storing any Christmas decorations, adding labels to your Christmas storage containers will make finding and organizing your holiday decorations easy for you the following year. Many holiday storage containers feature an ID tag holder, making labeling for easy identification as simple as can be.

Trees aren’t the only thing that should be stored in protective Christmas storage containers; wreaths, garlands, breakable ornaments, collectibles like nutcrackers, and even wrapping paper are all typically stored incorrectly or inconveniently.

If you have any questions about storing your tree season after season, need more tree storage ideas at an affordable price, or what the perfect storage option is for you and your tree and holiday season decor, feel free to contact us. Anyone here at Christmas World would be happy to help you out!

Storing Tree Accessories and Decorations

Now that you learned to store away your Christmas tree, you might be standing among a pile of tree skirts, ornaments, and tree toppers. These decorative elements and accessories are often fragile and delicate. Some, such as tree toppers or special ornaments, may hold sentimental value.

If you wouldn’t toss your Christmas Tree into a cardboard box, why would you wrap your most meaningful decorations in newspaper and hope for the best?

Now that your mind is on storing your Christmas tree for the season, here are a few additional storage solutions that will simplify your life and make cleanup a breeze.

  • Ornament Storage Solutions:
  • Multi-tray ornament storage boxes make storing ornaments (and, later, decorating) a snap. Each adjustable container has room for each individual bauble on the tree. Dividers prevent scuffing or bumping during transportation.

    You won’t have to deal with dust or debris during the next Christmas season, and there will be no broken ornaments to discard. Plus, the individual trays make it simple to carry multiple ornaments during the decorating process. 

  • Decoration Storage Solutions: Where do you keep your nutcrackers, knick-knacks, twinkle lights, and festive collectibles in between Christmases? What about your extra gift wrap, from wrapping paper rolls to gift bags, ribbons, and tissue paper? Specialized storage solutions ensure that every piece of decor gets tucked away safely and securely where you can find it next season. Clear up the clutter and discover peace of mind with tidy storage bags and boxes that prevent damage. damage.
  • Wreath Storage Solutions: A beautiful wreath draws the eye to your door, creating a stunning visual centerpiece that sets the tone for the season. When you store them properly, your wreath will look its best year after year. Foam-lined and suspendable storage bags solve your wreath storage problems, adding extra protection. The right wreath storage solution will save you money by protecting your classic holiday decor.
Various Types of Christmas Decoration Storage Bags by Santa's Bags and TreeKeeper Bags
Infographic: Correctly Storing Your Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree Storage FAQ

What Is the Best Way to Store Christmas Trees?

How Does a Christmas Tree Storage Bag Work?

Is it Better to Store a Christmas Tree in a Bag or Box?

Can You Store the Christmas Tree in a Garbage Bag?

How Do You Wrap a Christmas Tree?

How Do You Store a Christmas Tree in a Small Apartment?

How Do I Get the Musty Smell out of My Artificial Christmas Tree?

How Do You Store a Christmas Tree Without Taking it Apart?

Parker Eakin
Parker Eakin




April 19, 2023

Last year I just stored my Christmas tree in the basement uncovered and whoever the boys placed it and it was fine. Now all I want is a bag to put over it and everyone Is making it complicated.

mailto:Jack Doyle
mailto:Jack Doyle

April 25, 2022

We always have stored our tree with the lights on in an upright position. But now the only storage space we have is above the garage an we need to put the tree on its side. Can I still use the bag to wrap it in an upright position but store it on its side?
Thanks for your input.


April 25, 2022

The article was very detailed and helpful

Kathryn Marquis
Kathryn Marquis

April 25, 2022

Hello, I have a four section 9 ft, 54 girth tree. I want to pack it in two separate containers. Please recommend which bags I should purchase. Thanks! Kathryn


October 27, 2021

Have a question. Is it okay to store a Christmas tree (that comes with lights) in a garage. It is a dry area of garage & wrapped in a tree bag?

Kelly Jackson
Kelly Jackson

January 21, 2021

Thanks for taking the time to write this article. It’s the first time I’ve ever purchased a tree storage bag and I wanted to do it right the first time!

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