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Live Christmas Tree Care Tips

By: Garden Gate staff
Make the holidays extra special with a living Christmas tree.

Live Christmas tree care tips: Decorating a live tree is a classic holiday tradition.

How to take care of a live Christmas tree

Having a living Christmas tree and then planting it outdoors is a great way to remember the holiday. Local nurseries may have live trees available at the holidays, either specifically for temporary use indoors, or plants they are wintering over for next spring's plantings. You can also purchase one early in the fall and tuck it away for use as a Christmas tree. Here are a few helpful tips for caring for your live Christmas tree while it is indoors and even how to plant it outside when the holidays are over.

Live Christmas tree care tips

  • Before you bring it inside, spray the foliage with an antidesiccant, such as Wilt-Pruf®, and allow it to dry outdoors.
  • Then place your tree in a cool spot indoors, such as a porch or entryway, near windows and away from heat ducts and fireplaces, keeping the thermostat at 68 degrees F or cooler.
  • Put the root ball in a pot or on a tray and cover it with a plastic bag.
  • Water it every day. Your tree will dry out quickly indoors, so you’ll only be able to keep it this way for about 10 days.

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Plant your Christmas tree outside after the holidays

Do you ever feel bad throwing out your cut Christmas tree after the holidays? Plant your potted live tree instead!

  • If you expect the soil to be frozen where you live, pre-dig the hole in fall and store the soil in the garage. The hole should be just as deep and twice as wide as the root ball.
  • Position the tree and backfill with soil, gently tamping and watering to remove air pockets.
  • Add a few inches of wood mulch around the tree and double wrap it with burlap to protect the foliage from drying winds the rest of the winter.
  • If it gets warm and sunny during the winter months, water it when the soil dries.
Published: Dec. 2, 2020
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