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A Living Tree for Christmas

A Living Tree for Christmas

What you need to know if you’re considering a living tree for the holidays.

There are some families that have the tradition of decorating a living tree for Christmas, and planting it in their yard after the holidays. Others decide to do this occasionally, or are tempted to try it at least once. It’s a lovely custom, especially if you need more evergreens in your yard. Yet living trees require particular care and timing if you want them to survive past the holidays. Here are some tips that will help you decide if this is something you want to make a part of your holiday season.

These are two foot trees that are popular for large porch containers. Some use these for a tabletop tree inside as well. Follow our tips for success in order to keep your tree alive.
  • Before you buy a living tree, be sure you have a good place to plant it after Christmas. These trees grow quite large over time, so find a spot where the tree can grow for years to come.
  • Purchase the tree you want to use. Be sure you are able to lift the pot when it’s time to bring the plant inside. Leave the tree outside for now, watering the soil in the pot once a week if it hasn’t rained well.
  • Dig the hole where the tree will be planted. Do this early in December in case the ground freezes closer to Christmas.
  • Leave the tree outside in at least a half day of sun until December 15th. On the 15th bring the tree into your garage for five days to get it acclimated to slightly warmer temperatures. Water the tree well before bringing it into the garage.
  • Plan on carrying the tree inside about December 20th, watering it well before you bring it inside. Plan on keeping it inside for just one week. On December 27th return it to the garage for three or four days, then plant it in the hole you’ve prepared on December 31st. Water the tree well after planting.
  • Living trees are kept inside for only a short period of time because the temperatures are unseasonably warm inside, and if kept indoors for too long they might break dormancy and start to grow. Additionally, the changes from being outside to indoors, and then back out again are stressful to the plant. Those who prefer having their tree decorated and indoors for several weeks should consider buying a cut tree, not a living plant.
Living trees come in a variety of sizes and types of evergreens. Choose the type that will fit best in your landscape. You can slip the pot into a decorative container or cover it with foil or a cloth tree skirt if desired.
These living trees come in a festive red pot. Be sure to place a large saucer under the container, however, so that moisture from the drainage holes doesn’t damage your flooring.
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