My Christmas Tree Doesn’t Smell Like Pine – What’s Wrong?

Getting ready for the holidays can be one of the more stressful times of the year. Do you have a tree you recently brought home and notice it doesn't have that fresh pine scent? Why doesn't your Christmas tree have a smell at all? Is something wrong?

We dive into these questions and more throughout this post. Let's discuss!

One of the main reasons a Christmas tree doesn't have that pine smell is because it needs more water. Typically, an unhealthy or underwatered pine tree will lose its scent and needles.

On top of that, if you cut down your Christmas tree a while ago, this could also be why it doesn't smell as fragrant.

As a pine tree ages, it will lose its ever-loved smell, so you might want to purchase some Christmas-scented tree stuffers if you run into this issue.

As we begin, we will cover all things Christmas trees and discuss why yours doesn't have that fresh pine smell. Whether the holidays are your favorite time of year or you're loathing the season, we've got your back. With that said, let's explore this topic!

Christmas tree - My Christmas Tree Doesn't Smell Like Pine - What's Wrong

Why Doesn't My Christmas Tree Smell Like Pine?

My Christmas Tree Doesn't Smell Like Pine - What's Wrong

For anyone dealing with a bland-smelling Christmas tree, this could be for a few reasons. As we mentioned above, an underwatered tree will likely lose its strong scent.

Considering that as water absorbs into a pine tree, sap is released: so if you forget to do this, expect a less than ideal overall aroma.

Additionally, a pine tree won't smell as good if it's been out of the ground for a while. In general, the minute you remove a pine tree from its natural habitat, the clock begins ticking.

The healthier your Christmas tree, the fresher and stronger it will smell, so keep that in mind.

You may even want to purchase a self-watering Christmas tree holder, which should disperse water to your tree's base over time. As hectic as the holidays can be, it's understandable why someone may forget to water their Christmas tree.

How Do You Bring Back A Pine Smell On A Christmas Tree?

If your Christmas tree has lost most or all of its original smell, there are some things to try. First, how old is your pine tree? If it's young, we recommend watering it thoroughly.

As we covered, an underwatered Christmas tree loses its signature smell faster than one with a good watering schedule.

Furthermore, if your tree is older or you can't smell anything after watering, you can try diffusers, scent machines, tree sticks, or even a pine spray.

Using a product like these can give your tree a holiday smell without requiring any work, which makes them perfect for someone already super busy.

Certain retailers even offer cinnamon/pine tree sticks which combine the husky pine smell and sweet cinnamon, so that's something to keep an eye out for.

If you or someone else in your home has allergies/asthma, using too many extra pine-related products could irritate them. That said, it's best to test a product before drenching your tree in it.

BAGO home Reed Diffuser Set - Siberian Pine

This diffuser set comes with 3.4 ounces of classic pine oil, is alcohol-free, has eight fiber sticks, and comes in various scents.

Follow this link to see it on Amazon.

Scenticles Winter Fir Scented Sticks

This pack of tree sticks has a fresh-cut douglas fir smell, comes with six pieces, will camouflage into your Christmas tree, and has great online reviews from customers.

Check out these scent sticks on Amazon.

EBMCreations Christmas Tree Scent

This Christmas tree spray has a cypress, fir clippings, & eucalyptus scent, a hint of vanilla, promises a long-lasting effect, and comes in a four-ounce bottle.

See this spray on Amazon here.

How Long Will A Pine Tree's Scent Last?

Beautiful fresh blue green natural christmas tree

You can generally expect a pine tree's scent to last 4-5 weeks. Of course, this timeline will depend on how well you water and care for your tree, so everyone is different.

Moreover, your Christmas tree may have a bolder/softer smell to begin with, depending on its sap, so you won't always get the same experience each year.

Once your pine tree begins to dry out, that is when you'll notice a less potent smell. Again, this can start happening sooner than four or five weeks, so upkeep is essential.

As we mentioned above, you can also try using an additional product on your tree to enhance its aroma. Whether you decide on scent sticks, essential oil, spray, or a diffuser nearby, there are plenty of options to turn things around.

You might even notice that larger pine trees will have a stronger smell than smaller ones, so size is something else to consider.

What Pine Tree Has The Strongest Scent?

We recommend finding a Balsam fir if you want a super potent Christmas tree. Considering that this variety of pine is one of the strongest smelling, you can expect to have it last longer than other options.

On top of that, the Balsam fir is a top choice for Christmas trees, so you can find it almost anywhere. Another benefit of purchasing this variety is that it is incredibly hardy.

So, if you forget to water it or have a long ride home, your tree shouldn't become sick as easily as a non-fir species. Of course, that's not to say you can neglect a Balsam fir and have it smell amazing for weeks, but it will take a beating better than its counterparts.

Another great option is a Douglas fir if you can't find a Balsam fir. These pine trees also have a potent smell and tend to outlast their competition.

Pine trees with smaller needles and more robust frames tend to equate to a better/longer-lasting scent, which is interesting.

Which Pine Tree Has Bark That Smells Like Vanilla?

Upward view of a ponderosa pine tree in the forest.

For anyone wanting a sweeter smelling Christmas tree, you'll want to find a Ponderosa pine. In general, Ponderosa varieties will have bark that smells like vanilla or butterscotch, which will make your home a new favorite among family and friends.

These pine trees will have 4-8 inch long needles that are thick and flexible, making them a great choice if you have ornaments to hang. On top of their beautiful scent and stature, Ponderosa pines also live long in the ground.

Typically, these trees will for 500 or more years if unbothered, so growing one outside may also be a good option for the holidays. Once you cut a Ponderosa down, it should be healthy for about a month or two, depending on where you live and how often you water it.

In addition, this pine tree variety will have almost black bark if it's under 150 years old, which will grab people's attention. So not only will your Christmas tree smell like a desert, but it will also have a cool look to it.

Should A Christmas Tree Smell Sweet?

In general, a Christmas tree will have a musky or sweet scent. Between the two, many households respond better to a sweeter aroma, but this doesn't always have to be the case.

Suppose you have children or family members with breathing problems, the less heavy-smelling your tree, the better. Therefore, you should try to find a Christmas tree that doesn't overpower a room but has a softer, sweeter smell.

Finding a tree that will fit your home and holiday aesthetic is key. Furthermore, not all pine trees have the same smell, so it might be worth it to stick your nose in a few different options.

The last thing you want to do is chop down a Christmas tree, only to have it make everyone sneeze once it's in your living room.

And, if all else fails, you can purchase a spray, oil, or scent stick for your tree with a sweeter aroma.

Is It Better To Have A Real Christmas Tree?

Christmas decorations hanging on fir tree — Photo

The age-old question of whether a real or faux Christmas tree is better comes up every year. Experts claim that a real tree has fewer environmental impacts than artificial ones, so from an eco-friendly standpoint, that's something to consider.

In addition, claims that you're supporting forests by purchasing a live tree for the Christmas season. On top of that, getting a tree from a local farm helps those in your community, so this can be a positive thing for everybody.

With that said, not everyone can handle a live tree in their house. As we briefly covered, some people are allergic to pine, so putting a live tree in your living room isn't always safe.

Even though the fresh smell of a pine tree is nice, it can be overpowering depending on your space. Therefore, it's sometimes best to go the artificial route, even if that means environmental impact long-term.

How Much Does A Real Christmas Tree Cost?

Christmas tree — Photo

Although this can vary significantly, purchasing a real Christmas tree will set you back anywhere from $65 to $150. Of course, this isn't always the same, considering it's sometimes much less if you chop down your own tree.

Moreover, every tree farm has different pricing, so someone in Malibu will pay more than someone in middle America.

With that said, buying a real tree is a nice thing to do for your community and planet, so the cost isn't super high with everything considered.

To Finish

Whether you need to get ideas for the upcoming holiday season or already have a tree, it's always good to know the basics of upkeep. We found that Christmas trees will lose their scent if you don't water them or have been out of the ground for too long.

Luckily, there are ways to fix this, including oils, sprays, and even a thorough watering.

Want to read more? Check out these related articles below!

How Much Water Does A Norfolk Island Pine Need?

Are Pine Needles Acidic? [And How That Affects Your Garden]

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