Each holiday season, I think about getting a live, potted Christmas
tree. I keep thinking that it would sure save a lot of money because
we should be able to use it as a Christmas tree for a few years -- as
long as I can keep it alive. Then when it grows too big to be a
Christmas tree, we could either plant it in the yard, in the
community or in the forest. But could I keep it alive?
This year, I did some research to help me make the decision of
whether or not to purchase one. Here are three important factors
that I based my decision upon:
~ Most potted Christmas trees have only a 50-50 chance of surviving
the move from indoors to the landscape, even with proper care.
~ Larger trees are more prone to go into transplant shock than
smaller ones, so if you do purchase one, go for a smaller tree.
~ The tree should not be in the house any longer than 7-10 days.
With the price of live, potted Christmas trees being so high, I am
thinking twice after knowing this information. For one thing, I'm
used to being able to take the Christmas tree down at my leisure,
with no time constraints. There is enough to do at Christmas time
that I don't want to add another time demanding task. But, if you
decide you still want to give it a try, here's some information about
To Plant or Not to Plant
If you decide to keep your tree in its` container, you will need to
water it religiously. This is extremely important. Keeping it in
its' container will give you time to think about where you want to
plant it in the spring. You may even want to try and keep growing it
in the container for next Christmas. Remember that it can not stay
in the house longer than 7-10 days. You'll need to place the potted
tree out in your yard.
At planting time, plant the tree the same depth at which it was
growing. Water well and mulch to help protect from hard freezes. If
you live where the ground freezes, dig your hole before it`s frozen,
set the tree in the hole and surround the roots with mulch until
spring when you can properly plant it after the ground thaws. Stake
the tree to prevent wind damage.
Where to Plant
Because of the pyramid shape of pine trees, the best place to plant
one in your yard is in a corner. Here it will take up less space of
your yard. Of course, you can plant it anywhere you want, but
remember that most of these trees can grow huge in 20 or 30 years.
Look around before you plant for power lines or rooftops that the
tree may come in contact with after it grows very tall. Garden
centers usually offer dwarf varieties also; be sure to check the
label for size, zones and growing requirements.
I hope this article gives you enough information for making the
decision of whether or not to purchase a live potted Christmas tree.
Reprinted with permission.