Before you lay out cold hard cash for a cut Christmas tree, make sure it is fresh. It should have a strong woodsy aroma and the needles should be soft and plyable, as should the end of the branches. Remember, a Christmas tree will remain green long after it has started to dry out. Cut about an inch off the bottom of the trunk immediately before putting it into your Christmas-tree stand that has its own water bowl. Be sure to check the water level frequently. Average water consumption can be as much as a gallon the first day and a quart each day thereafter. If the water level drops below the trunk, the cut will seal. Then, even if the bowl is refilled, the tree will begin immediately to dry out. For more information on Christmas Trees, check out The National Christmas Tree Association's Web site at: http://www.christree.org. And that's the On The House tip for today.