How To Care For A Living Christmas Tree
Are you one who thinks cutting a perfectly healthy live tree down to use as a Christmas tree is a waste? If so, you're not alone. There is a growing number of people who don't like the idea of buying a cut tree to then turn around and just throw it away. Each year, living Christmas trees are becoming more popular because of their many advantages over other types of Christmas trees:

  • They are less of a fire hazard.
  • No need for support at the base as they usually come in a container.
  • Future use in the landscape after having used them indoors as a Christmas tree.
  • After transplanting outdoors, living Christmas trees offer year round beauty in your landscape and can be decorated for years to come during the holiday season.
  • Planted in the landscape, living trees also become a yearly source for cut greens to use during the holiday season.
  • Unlike plastic or fake trees, the fragrance of many living trees is very pleasant when they are used in the home.
  • On a more personal note, some Christmas celebrations are important enough to commemorate by planting the tree that was an intimate part of a special Christmas.
  • Living Christmas tree costs are comparable with the cost of most cut trees, but the living tree will increase in value, adding value to your property each year as it grows.

How To Care For a Living Christmas Tree

  1. After purchasing your tree, gradually introduce your living tree from outside to inside over three or four days via the garage or enclosed porch. A tree that is dormant and exposed to immediate warmth will start to grow. You want to avoid any quick resumption of growth.

  2.  If possible, locate your tree in the coolest part of the room and away from heating ducts. This will work to keep the tree moist and prevent the loss of valuable moisture.

  3. These days, a live Christmas tree you purchase at your local nursery and garden center will most likely be in a container. Place the container in a plastic tray or dish to hold and keep water from draining on your floor. If you purchase a ball-and-burlap tree (one that has been grown and dug from a field and wrapped in burlap), place the B&B tree in a large galvanized tub including root ball. This tub stabilizes the tree and ball and confines water and needles into a more manageable and cleanable space. Stabilize the tree in the tub in a straight and vertical position using rocks or bricks. NOTE: Water only in the tree's container if not a balled-in-burlap tree. If balled-in-burlap, fill empty space around and on top of the ball with mulch to retain as much moisture as possible. Then water your tree as often as necessary to moisten the roots but not soggy.

  4. Carefully introduce tree back outside using the reverse procedure and then plant in the landscape. If you live in a climate where soils freeze, you should have prepared a planting hole during moderate temperatures.