Live Christmas Trees
This year we decided to purchase a live Christmas tree that we will plant in our garden after the holidays. How should we care for it to make sure that it will survive in our home?
I think live Christmas trees are a wonderful idea if you have the space and climate to grow them in your garden. Unlike cut trees, these living trees have an opportunity to flourish for many more Christmases if they are cared for properly.
- Success growing an evergreen tree begins with selection. You need to purchase one that will thrive in the growing conditions that exist in your garden. Live Christmas trees must be planted soon after the holiday, so they're best suited for areas with mild winters.
- Find out how big the tree will get so you'll know the best location to plant it.
- To help prepare it for indoor conditions first place the tree in an outbuilding for a few days. Before you bring it inside, slip the tree into a decorative container to hide the nursery pot or balled and burlapped roots.
- When you do move it inside, you want to make sure it's protected from extreme conditions. Keep your tree away from sources of heat, like fireplaces and vents. And if you use Christmas lights, limit the time you have them on so they don't heat up the tree.
- You shouldn't keep living trees in the house for more than seven days and when it comes to watering, just keep the root ball consistently moist.
- When you get ready to take the tree back outside, it will need to acclimate to outdoor conditions. Place it in a sheltered, unheated location such as a garage or tool shed for several days before planting it in the garden.
- Now since most Christmas tree type evergreens don't like wet feet, make sure it is planted in an area where the soil is well drained.