Before you leave home, decide where the tree will go. Keep it away from heat sources such as fireplaces, heat registers, radiators–even a hot window can shorten the life of your tree.
Measure your space. A tree in the field or in a lot can look much smaller than it will in your home.
Even though you cut your tree down yourself or someone else cut an inch or two from the bottom of your tree, best practices dictate that you re-cut the stump just before you put it in the tree stand. The sap begins to harden at the bottom of the tree within minutes of cutting. So to encourage the tree to drink as much water as possible, re-cut the stump and immediately put it into the stand. And as soon as you have the tree secured, add water–lots of water. Your stand should hold at least a gallon. You need not add anything else to the water. Just keep the stand filled so that the bottom of the stump does not dry and again try to seal itself.