Christmas is coming, and Christmas decoration is what people think about nowadays. Christmas tree is the main decoration in the happy moment, and instead of using plastic trees or cut trees, why don’t you try to use living Christmas tree as the decoration?
Living Christmas tree is an eco-friendly option compared to using plastic trees or cut trees. Plastic trees, of course, is made of plastic, the least friendly substance for the environment after being thrown away. While instead of cutting trees for one use purpose, why won’t you just keep the tree alive?
Using living tree is win-win solution for both you and the environment. You get the beautiful decoration for Christmas, and the environment can keep one of its most precious attendance. Here is a list of tips you can try to use living tree as a Christmas decoration.
Selecting A Tree
The selection process is an important part of using living tree as your Christmas decoration. Make sure to select a tree smaller than the room you are going to place it in. Because you also have to count additional height it will get from the pot you will put it in.
Also select trees whose leave will not fall easily. You don’t want additional cleaning chores just to clean up the leaves. Trees with smaller needle-like leaves are the ones that will likely litter your floor, so choose trees with relatively bigger size of leaves because they tend to grip more firmly to the branches.
You should also consider how it will look in your yard after Christmas end. Of course, it is because living trees should be planted outside after the function as Christmas decoration ends. Select trees which are suitable to the climate and soil where it would be planted.
Transition Is Important
Evergreen Christmas trees are usually more adaptive to colder climate, while your house tend to be warmer than outside. That’s why, you need to transition your living Christmas tree before putting in inside your house.
This process is important for keeping the tree’s survival. Because moving to warmer temperature will trick its genetic trait to think it is spring already and start growing again. While after the Christmas ends, and you put it outside again, the growth gained will be killed.
To transition you living tree, try to gradually put it in unheated garage for two or three days, then try to apply some more heat to it for a night before putting it where it would belong. It needs some work of moving, so it would be easier if you put it in a pot since the start.
Transition to outside after being used indoor is also important, try to reverse the steps of transition before completely replant it outdoor. But if the weather gets colder than usual, it is best to keep your tree in your garage while maintaining the water and light supply.
Water is basic needs to all plants, and keeping the tree hydrated is important to keep its survival. Before bringing it inside, try to spray the leaves to keep it wet and slow the transpiration process done by the foliage caused by warmer temperature.
In the pot, you can put some ice that will melt slowly and keep the water supply fulfilled for its root. If the ice is all melted, add some additional ice. Or if you want to just water it normally, make sure to put it in waterproof container to avoid spilling in your house.
Keep the tree in cooler area of your room, away from any source of heat like heater, furnace vent, or fireplace. The optimum temperature for the tree is below 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Also try to not put the tree near windows where sunlight can penetrate in.
In addition, when you decorate the tree, try to put as minimum lamps on it as possible because of the heat produced by lamps can be too much for the tree to handle. You can also simply put on LED lights which are cooler than ordinary lamps.
Like mentioned before, the heat it receives will deceive the tree thinking that it is already spring and start to grow. In order to avoid that, you should also limit the amount of time keeping the tree indoor, because it slowly will adapt to warmer indoor temperature.
Seven to ten days is the suggested time, because longer time than that will cause the tree to break dormancy. If your house is far warmer than the outside, shorter time is needed for the tree to be kept inside to prevent the growing process.
Replanting The Tree
Christmas is over and the tree needs to be brought back to nature. After the tree has done its purposes, don’t forget to replant it in your garden or yard. If you buy the tree just days before Christmas and haven’t planted it before in your yard, selecting planting site is important step.
Select site that will provide enough space for its growth in later time. If the tree is new, from the start you should choose trees that can grow in your yard. “Determine your site before you choose your tree, because the site will dictate the proper species,” said certified arborist R.J. Laverne to Community Table.
Also choose a place where for its early adaptation to outside temperature, the tree is protected from winter sun and cold wind to prevent winter burn. The protection can be another group of taller trees or shielding from your house.
Make sure the ground is not frozen solid before planting the tree. You can prepare the planting ground by digging 12 inches deep and 4 feet wide hole days before the freezing temperature come. Keep the removed soil unfrozen in warmer garage for refilling the dug hole later.
Planting the tree next year can also be done if winter is predicted to last longer than usual. But in case this happen, keep the tree in your colder garage and maintain the light and water supply to keep it from withering.