Why not choose a live Christmas Tree this year?

Instead of picking out a cut tree at a lot, why not go to your local garden center and choose a live evergreen that you can plant in your yard after the holiday season?

There are lots of evergreens to choose from at your local garden center: pines, spruces, and firs are always popular.  The key to keeping a live tree healthy is to keep the rootball moist and keep it outside most of the time. You can take it indoors, but you shouldn’t leave it inside for more than 3 days or so. If you leave it indoors too long, it will get too warm and start breaking dormancy.

You can get a large storage or muck bucket at your local home improvement or hardware store. Place the ball of the tree in the bucket and surround and cover it with a thick layer of mulch. You can put some lights and ornaments on the tree if you want and leave it on the front porch, or some other convenient spot outdoors, then bring it in on Christmas eve and take it back out the day after Christmas.

When you are ready to plant the tree, dig your planting hole only as deep as the rootball, but at least twice as wide. Place the rootball in the planting hole, remove all of the twine and burlap and the metal basket if it has one. Fill the planting hole halfway with soil and then water to settle it in, then completely cover the root ball and water again. Put a two to three inch layer of mulch over the planting area. Continue to water the tree every week to ten days as long as we don’t get at least an inch of rain or snow during that time period.

Planting evergreens on the northwest side of your home will help to block the prevailing winter winds and will save you money on your winter heating bill!