Caring For Your Potted Christmas Tree Through the Holidays and Beyond

When it comes time to choose your Christmas tree, how do you go about choosing one? Do you head outdoors to cut down your own, buy one that is already cut for you, or put up the same artificial tree year after year? While these are the three most popular options, you do have another choice. Have you considered purchasing a potted live evergreen for your Christmas tree this year? There are many benefits associated with buying a potted Christmas tree, but the care can be a little tricky if it is your first plant of this kind. Read on to learn why a potted Christmas tree is a great option, and how to care for it to ensure it has a long life and keep it alive all year.

potted live Christmas treeBenefits of a Potted Christmas Tree

Surprisingly, artificial trees are actually worse for the environment than real Christmas trees. The main material used in artificial trees, PVC, is both non-renewable, polluting, and you can’t recycle it. Also, PVC production results in unhealthy emissions of carcinogens. Potted trees are carbon neutral and renewable, making them a more environmentally-friendly choice than artificial trees.

Plant a Tree

Additionally, once Christmas is over, you can plant your potted tree outdoors. Rather than cutting down a tree then discarding it after the holidays, your potted live Christmas tree will continue to live on for years and years as it provides clean air and a habitat for wildlife.

Fresh Smell

Live, potted evergreen trees give off an amazing scent that is difficult to replicate. Rather than having to burn a candle or find another type of artificial pine scent, you will get it safely and naturally from your Christmas tree.

Reduced Fire Hazard

Since your potted tree is alive, it won’t dry out as a cut tree would. Dry trees may ignite and burn more readily compared to a well-watered tree, so keeping your potted tree cared for can help reduce the risk of fire that comes from a real Christmas tree.

A Family Tradition

Growing your trees in pots can be fun for the whole family! Make choosing your potted Christmas tree a family event each year for a memorable holiday tradition. Since there are a variety of evergreens, you could try a new type every year, or allow a different family member to make the final decision each holiday season. After the holiday season is over, choose a spot in the yard to plant your potted tree so your Christmas memories will live on well after the season is over. You could even add outdoor lighting to highlight the trees of years’ past.

When to Buy Your Potted Christmas Tree

If you decide to purchase a potted Christmas tree, be prepared to put it up closer to Christmas than normal. The key to making a potted tree last is waiting until as close to Christmas as possible to purchase it and keep it indoors for as little time as possible.

Caring For Your Potted Christmas Tree

Potted trees do best in a cool spot near a window, and they’ll last about seven to ten days indoors. You should not allow your potted tree to dry out. Once you get your tree home, don’t bring it directly indoors. Instead, place it in a garage or shed to acclimate it to the warmer air. Keep your tree in a watertight container and water it just enough with cold water to keep the roots moist and cool. When you purchase your tree, be sure to get detailed care instructions that are specific to the type of tree you choose.

Planting Your Potted Christmas Tree

When it comes time to plant your tree, you might find that the ground is nearly impossible to dig. If you know you’re going to get a potted Christmas tree, dig the hole in your desired location in the late fall before the first freeze. The hole should be twice as wide as the root ball. Fill the hole with mulch and protect the soil with a tarp until you are ready to plant your tree.

Timing Matters

Once Christmas is over, move your potted tree back into the garage or the shed for a few days. Check the forecast and look for a mild day that would be good for planting your tree. Once you’re ready to plant the tree, remove the burlap and place the tree into the pre-dug hole. Backfill with the soil you dug out and tamp it down gently. Water the tree very well and generously cover the base with mulch. If you live in a windy area, protect your new tree with a screen to prevent wind damage.

If you can keep your potted tree alive through the winter, wait until the spring to plant your tree outdoors. This is the time it naturally emerges from dormancy. Until spring, keep the tree in the garage and insulate the pot with mulch. Keep the soil moist, and plant the tree in late March to give it a good chance of survival. Ask a landscaping professional about planting the tree in your yard to appreciate festive memories for generations to come.

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