How To Care for Your Potted Christmas Tree
Prevent your potted live Christmas tree from dying in your home. Knowing how to handle and care for a potted evergreen or pine tree can help you prevent a fire and keep your tree thriving through the holidays.
gardeninginfo-online.com gathered information about the benefits of a potted, live Christmas tree, how to bring your live Christmas tree indoors, when to move it back outdoors, and care tips to help you keep it flourishing beyond the holiday season.
What Is A Potted Christmas Tree?
As you shop for a live, potted Christmas tree, ask the merchant if the tree was:
- Container-grown or
- Dug up and potted
This information is crucial in helping you understand the health and vigor of the tree you are purchasing. Container-grown trees have a root ball that grew and developed in the container and are said to be stronger than a root system that was dug up and replanted.
Basically, what you are purchasing is a temporary houseplant, and there are some simple rules to follow that will help you keep it alive and thriving.
Live Potted Christmas Tree Care
Like any other potted tree or plant, there are things to do that keep them in good health. In the case of live potted Christmas trees, here is what you can do to care for them and keep them flourishing:
Purchase a Healthy Tree – Before buying your tree, check it for the following:
- Signs of yellowing or drying out
- The presence of fungi, decay, or rot
- Evidence of boring insect activity
Note: Avoid heavily damaged, poorly formed, and generally sick or droopy-looking trees.
Live Christmas Tree Acclimation – Don’t make the mistake of buying your tree and immediately bringing it into your home. This temperature-controlled environment can cause the tree to go into shock and die. Instead, Find a place in your garage or a shed adjacent to your home and let it get accustomed to new temperature variations. Three to four days should do the trick.
Water Your Tree – Water your tree with just enough cold water to keep the soil damp. The intent isn’t to saturate the soil, rather to keep the roots moist and cool.
Note: Under watering your tree will leave it brittle and dying. Overwatering your tree will cause root rot and rapid tree death.
Tree Location – Your tree’s location in your home will significantly influence its capability to survive the holiday season. The following heat sources can accelerate the tree’s desiccation and increase the potential for the tree’s death or fire ignition:
- Space Heaters
- Heat Radiator
- HVAC Vents
- Windows in Direct Sunlight
Note: The more quickly you can get your tree out of your home, the less it will acclimate to the indoor environment and increase its readjustment to your area’s hardiness zone.
Fast In and Fast Out – From the time you move your tree indoors, you have 12 to 15 days before you should get it back to where you initially acclimated it. The longer the tree remains indoors, the more difficult it will be to keep it alive after planting it outside.
Tip: Timing is everything. Bring your live tree indoors the weekend before Christmas and move it back out immediately after your holiday festivities.
What Are The Benefits of a Live Potted Christmas Tree?
If you have decided to use a live potted Christmas tree this season, congratulations! Here are a few of the amazing benefits you will get with it:
- After serving as your Christmas tree, you get to plant it outside and enjoy it for decades to come.
- Using a live, fresh tree significantly reduces fire hazards presented by artificial or cut trees.
- Live, potted evergreen trees have an amazing scent that is nearly impossible to replicate. Rather than burning a candle or using another type of artificial pine scent, you will get it naturally from your Christmas tree.
- Start a new family tradition of selecting the tree, then choosing a location to plant it after the holidays.
- The tree becomes a conversation topic. “How cool is a live potted tree?”
- If you keep it potted, you can use it multiple seasons (once the tree reaches over six feet in height, hauling it indoors may become impractical)
Note: When choosing a live potted tree, you are helping the environment by reducing the amount of plastics and artificial materials making their way to landfills
Tip: Once your tree reaches over 6 feet tall with a heavy root ball, consider planting your tree out in the yard or garden where it will get plenty of sun. If you lack room for such a tree, check with your community officials for tree donation programs to public properties or parks.
Potted Christmas Trees
In this article, you discovered what a live potted Christmas tree is, how to care for one, and when to return it to its environment.
By using live potted Christmas trees, you are being proactive in promoting a healthier environment and adding a touch of charm to the holiday season.
The use of artificial trees exacerbates the environmental problem of undesirable plastics going to waste dumps and incinerators.