How to Buy and Plant a Living Christmas Tree
How about a living Christmas tree that you can plant in your yard to enjoy after the holidays! Just follow this guide to success. It’s as easy as 1-2-3!
1) Pick Your Tree
- Shop early. Get the best selection by heading to the nursery early in the Holiday Season. Most nurseries will tag your specimen and hold it for you until it’s time to bring it home and will even deliver it to you.
- Be in the “zone”. Make sure the tree loves the climate in which you live. Your Local Nursery or Landscaper will give the best advice, since growing conditions vary even within regions.
- Just a few decisions. Trees are sold container-grown (weigh less and don’t require potting for indoor use) or balled-and-burlapped (B&B–heavy but adapt easily once planted outdoors). Price will be determined by the species, size, and shearing done by the grower; expect to pay more for a greeting-card-perfect tree.
2) Find the Perfect Place in Your Home
- Place the tree away from direct heat sources, including vents, fireplaces, and stoves.
- Choose a cool room with lots of natural light so the tree doesn’t break dormancy.
- Water daily with about 30 ice cubes placed onto the top of the root ball.
- Strings of lights emit heat that can dry out the tree; use only for short periods of time.
- Acclimate by placing the outdoor tree in the garage for a couple of days before bringing it inside. We recommend having it inside from 4 to 7 days maximum.
- Ideas for decorating: Keep it Simple! Twigs, bird ornaments, ribbons for example. Get creative and find bits of nature and tie a ribbon on it, for a rustic, natural design.
3) Prep for Planting
- Before you buy, scope out the perfect place for your new tree. Consider your tree’s mature size, and make sure the planting area is far enough away from the house, street, cement or walls, or other plantings. Most conifers prefer full sun.
- Idea: Plant it during a Holiday Gathering in honor of a loved one. (Also you can use the extra help)
- Have a bag filled with leaves at the ready to insulate your tree if it’s balled and burlapped.
- Workable soil? Dig a hole and mark the spot by filling with leaves. Store soil you have removed–you will need it to fill the hole after planting Dig the hole at least twice the size of the root ball and at least as wide as the canopy/diameter of the tree. Apply nutrients to the newly planted tree such as “Superthrive” and deep water.