Using a live Christmas tree during the holidays has been steadily gaining popularity over the years. Depending on how long you plan to keep yours, living trees may be a better economical choice than cut or artificial trees. Live Christmas trees cost about the same as cut trees but are less of a fire hazard and can be planted in the ground in the spring or placed in a large, outdoor planter and used over and over again for years to come.
Tips to Care for a Live Christmas Tree
- Gradually acclimate the tree to the indoors by letting it sit in a garage or enclosed porch for a day or two before moving it inside.
- Choose the coolest area of the room to display it.
- Keep the roots moist but not saturated. If the tree isn’t in a pot with soil, place the root ball of the tree in the middle of a galvanized bucket and cover the roots with soil and rocks to stabilize it.
- Decorate it as you would any Christmas tree. It is okay to prune branches.
- When the season is over gradually re-introduce the tree to the outside by letting it sit in a garage or enclosed porch for a few days before placing it outside.
- If you intend to plant the tree in the ground in the spring, wait until the ground has thawed, then dig a hole large enough to set the tree’s root ball in and remove any burlap that may be tied around it. Loosen the roots before placing the tree in the hole. Fill the hole with soil and water.
- If you are planning to keep your tree in a planter, make sure the root ball is free of any burlap wrapping and that the planter is at least one foot around and two feet deep to allow for root growth.
Garden centers and nurseries have a variety of living evergreens to choose from in all sizes, and a nursery near you can best recommend a tree that will do well in your indoor and outdoor living environment. Be sure to look for a live Christmas tree that comes in a large container filled with soil, which will eliminate the need to use a tree stand or stabilizer.