Introduction: Automatic Christmas Tree Watering System - Low Tech

About: My name is Troy. I'm a Mechatronics and Aerospace Engineer. I make things out of wood and electronics and spend time outdoors (especially SCUBA diving).

With the busyness of the season, you may forget to water your freshly cut tree. Or if you are off visiting family, you may come home to a dried out pile of needles. Avoid these two mishaps by setting up a quick and easy Christmas tree siphon with materials you probably already have around your home. With this setup from last year, we were gone for almost two weeks and the water had only gone down about an inch.

Step 1: Materials


  • At least one 5 gallon bucket
  • Clear hose
  • Weights (rocks) to hold the hoses in place

Step 2: Measure Tree Stand

Measure the depth of the tree stand. You don't want your buckets to have more water height than this or the water will overflow the stand.

Step 3: Fill Buckets

Fill the buckets with an inch or so less than the height of the tree stand.

Step 4: Attach Tubing to Stand

Using clamps or other means, attach the plastic tubing to the full tree stand. I threaded the tubing through one of the bolts holding the tree upright.

Step 5: Start Siphon

Suck the air out of the tubing (depending on the volume of your tree stand, you may need to refill it through this process). Once you see the water approaching your mouth, plug the end with your thumb and place it under the water in the first bucket. Place a large rock or other heavy object on top of the tube to keep it in place.

Step 6: Second Bucket

Repeat the siphon process to bring the second bucket into the system. This second bucket will double the time your water will last while you are away.

Once everything is together, verify the height of the water is roughly the same in both buckets and the tree stand. Wait about a half hour for the water levels to equalize and verify the heights again, adjust if necessary.

Now feel free to travel for the holidays and don't worry about your tree drying out while you are away.