Real tree vs. fake tree? How about a live potted tree that you can plant on your property, or donate to have planted by your parks department? Fortunately, our local nursery offers wonderful 5-6’ plump trees in red or green pots, and we inaugurated our own Christmas tree glade three years ago. Granted these trees are not towering, but our family has become quite accustomed to the idea of a smaller tree that will give us pleasure for years to come – and help us suck up any Co2 that might be floating around the area. Plus, you get 10 PG points for planting a tree!
How to do it? Call your local nursery and you will likely find a source nearby. More practical advice from Don Tapio, Master Gardener, in the Washington State Chinook Observer:
Although digging up a tree sounds reasonable, in most cases it will prove to be unsuccessful…. A far better option for obtaining a live Christmas tree is to visit a local nursery or garden center and choose a potted tree or ornamental conifer that has a growth habit suitable for inclusion in your landscape. These plants are most often sold as ‘balled and burlapped’ or in containers. In both instances, the plant root systems have been sufficiently pruned during the growing process to allow for successful transplanting.
As soon as you get the tree home, water it immediately. From this time on, until the tree is transplanted, it is essential that the soil be kept moist. Do not overwater!
The sooner after Christmas you can move the tree back into a cooler location, the better off the tree will be. If the temperatures outside are freezing, delay transplanting until warmer conditions prevail.
When you plant your tree, be sure to plant it at the same depth it was grown at the nursery and be sure to remove the tree from the container or burlap prior to planting. Loosen and re-direct outside roots, which may have wrapped around the soil mix, so they will grow out away from the tree. Adding a three-inch layer of mulch around the tree will help keep the soil and roots moist. With proper care, your live Christmas tree should become a valuable addition to your landscape.
Here are examples of some regional live-tree vendors we found.
- San Diego, California: Adopt a Christmas Tree
Have you ever stopped to think about the environmental impact of the estimated 32 million Christmas trees sold in America each year? Dying trees release greenhouse gasses when they decompose and overcrowd our landfills. Most of California’s cut trees are trucked in from Oregon or Washington which also wastes fuel and emits CO2.
Would you like for your family to share the fragrant smell and festive look of a live tree in your living room–without feeling guilty? So do we.
**We currently only serve San Diego, BUT we’re excited to announce that we’re now offering the opportunity for you to run your own Adopt-A-Christmas-Tree in your hometown for the 2011 holiday season. Please contact us through email to inquire or call 619-876-0001.
- The Original Living Christmas Tree in Portland, Oregon:
We deliver full size potted Christmas trees. After Christmas our clients Christmas trees are planted for them around schools, churches, in parks and waterhseds all over the Northwest. 2010 is our nineteenth year in a row.
Keep your tree cool, man. Choose a spot in your home away from heat vents and turn heat down when you’re not home to 60 degrees. (If you like a 72 degree home always or if you have a woodstove please don’t order- the tree will dry out.)
- Near Cincinnati? Don’t miss Marvin’s Organic Gardens. From their Facebook page today (facebook.com/marvinsorganicgardens):
We have some of the MOST beautiful LIVE Christmas trees now available – up to 6 feet tall! If you are still in need of a tree, stop out and get one from us. After the holidays are over, you can take it outside and plant it! A lasting memory!
Happy Holidays, and please stay tuned for more ideas on a merry green season!