Living Christmas trees are a great alternative to cut trees. With the right care, you can enjoy an everlasting tribute to the winter holiday, planted in your yard. Below are the steps for caring for & planting your living Christmas tree.
Step 1: Dig a Hole
Before the ground freezes, dig a hole. Make the hole at least 1' wider than the root ball and no deeper than the root ball. Fill this hole with newspaper or cover it with cardboard to keep it free of debris.
Step 2: Store the Soil
Store the soil you removed from the hole where it will not freeze, like in a garage or basement. Purchase a bag or two of mulch, depending on how big your tree is.
Step 3: Keep the Root Ball Moist
The root ball must stay moist at all times! Place your tree in a waterproof bag or bucket. Water the roots daily while the tree is inside to keep it moist. We recommend spraying the foliage with an antidessicant like Wilt-Pruf to prevent moisture loss.
Step 4: Display for 8 Days
We do not recommend displaying your tree indoors for more than 8 days. The warmth of your home could cause the tree to break dormancy and push out new growth. When you plant your tree outside, this new growth will be shocked and could result in frostbite and additional stress to the tree.
Step 5: 2-Step Protection
After the holiday, move the tree first to a cool, not freezing, place like a protected porch or garage so that it adapts to the cold in 4-7 days. Wilt-Pruf the foliage again to prevent moisture loss and protect the foliage in the cold winter weather.
Step 6: Plant the Tree
After 4-7 days, the tree should be acclimated enough to be planted. Remove the newspaper/cardboard from the hole and place the tree in, careful not to plant deeper than the container or balled & burlapped depth. Mulch 4" around the base of the tree, careful not to pile the mulch around the trunk.
Step 7: Enjoy!
Now you have a new tree in your yard to enjoy! Watch it take off in the spring, and maybe decorate it with lights next holiday season!