A live Christmas tree can be a conscious and environmentally friendly choice, but only if you can keep it alive for a longer time.
Many families decide to buy a high-quality, sturdy artificial Christmas tree to save money and protect the environment. However, the decision is not as easy. An artificial tree takes up storage space during the rest of the year and, although it is a less known fact, using the same artificial tree for at least 20 years gets you to the same level in terms of harmful emissions as if you bought a cut pine tree every year. That’s why you shouldn’t skimp on the quality of artificial pine when you’re shopping.
It is a very nice solution is when someone plants a live pine tree and decorates it at Christmas. Regardless of the decoration style, whether it is minimalist or fancy, the scent and sight of the tree makes the holidays special.
What should you pay attention to if you are going to plant a live pine?
You have to pay attention to some important aspects already during the purchase. It is important to buy a tree that fits your climate, feels good there and can adapt to the warming temperatures.
Nevertheless, most pines are not delicate, and they especially cannot withstand high heat. Even the hardiest and healthiest trees have trouble growing if you plant them in an area that is too wet or too hot, so choosing the right variety is essential for future success.
It is also very important to decide in advance how big the tree should be. Silver spruce, for example, is beautiful, grows tall and provides a lot of shade, absorbs some of the dust and noise, but the grass under it will never be as beautiful as in the rest of the yard. Not to mention the enormous amount of cones and needles… Conifers, if they feel good, grow quickly and can be sprawling, so this must be taken into account when planting.
Inside or outside?
Of course, you can also grow a Christmas tree in a pot, move it outside after the holidays, and then bring it inside every year. This requires much more attention on your part than if you plant the tree outdoors. A tree kept inside for the holidays dries out faster, can be affected by temperature fluctuations and, of course, will not grow as well as a tree planted in the garden soil.
If you don’t have other options, or you definitely prefer the potted version, then you might want to consider buying a decorative indoor coniferous tree, which you can keep in the apartment all year round, or at least on the terrace in the summer.
Allow your tree to acclimatize
If you buy a live tree, it is important to gradually acclimatize it to the room temperature. For this, it is best to first take it to a place protected from the wind, then into an unheated room (for example, it may be kept in the basement for a while), and only then move it into the house – but never next to a radiator. It is important to water the tree regularly, but never overwater it, and to keep it in a spot where constant light can reach it.
Handle the tree with care
Of course, a coniferous tree will also suffer if handled roughly, and its branches can easily break if the decorations are placed unevenly. Heavy decorations are also impractical, as they pull down the branches, while older, incandescent lights can even burn the needles and branches of the tree.
After the holidays
The general guideline for keeping a live Christmas tree indoors is to keep it decorated for no more than 7-10 days. It must be returned to the outdoors in the same way as you brought it in: from the room, it must first be moved to a protected place and only then to the fresh air. Of course, this can be an exception if (unfortunately, we can say usually) similar weather conditions are typical outside as in your house.
If there is a greater difference between daytime and nighttime temperatures, you should take the tree to a sheltered place during the acclimatization at night, even if the weather is warmer during the day. Of course, you can only plant the tree if the ground is not frozen. After planting, you need to mulch the area well, so the roots will be protected from the cold and from drying out.