CUT CHRISTMAS TREES
Christmas trees are a natural product and it is normal for a cut tree to dry out and drop its pine needles eventually but there are some things you can do to help your tree stay fresher for longer.
1. CHOOSE THE RIGHT TREE
When choosing your Christmas tree think about the best variety for you:
- Spruce Christmas trees have a lovely traditional pine scent but sport very fine needles which dry out quickly if kept in a warm environment.
- Nordman Firs do not have a strong scent but are commonly known as the 'Non Drop' Christmas tree and have thick waxy needles which can stay strong and green for 5 weeks or more.
A range of Pot Grown living Christmas trees are also available so if you think a living tree would be better for your home please see the ‘Pot Grown’ advice section below.
2. CHECK FOR FRESHNESS
Check the tree before you buy it. Gently run your hand through the branches and, if the tree is fresh, this will cause few needles to drop. The needles should be strong and green and all laying neatly in line on the branches.
3. SAW THE TRUNK AND KEEP IT WATERED
When you get your cut Christmas tree home, with the net still on, saw off a small slice of the trunk. If you are not standing it up straight away place the tree in a bucket of water outside in a cool but frost free place as soon as possible after sawing. Shortly after the tree is cut, sap will begin to form over the trunk making it impossible for it to draw water. The tree needs to draw water in order to stay fresh.
When you are ready, mount your Christmas tree in a water-holding stand. Take your tree inside and remove the net. Fill the stand with tap water. It is important to regularly check that the Christmas tree has enough water and that the stump is still submerged. A tree can consume litres of water each day in a warm room and if your tree runs out, it will seal over and dry out more quickly. The importance of water cannot be emphasised enough but please remember to always turn off your tree lights before watering your tree!
4. CHOOSE THE RIGHT POSITION FOR YOUR CHRISTMAS TREE
Place your Christmas tree in the coolest part of the room, away from direct heat sources like radiators and wood burners. The more you allow your Christmas tree to dry out, the more likely it is to shed its needles. It’s best to put the tree somewhere where it won’t be knocked but where you can get access to water it – again please remember to always turn off your tree lights before watering your tree!
POT GROWN LIVING CHRISTMAS TREES
1. CHOOSE A POT GROWN TREE
British Christmas Tree Growers Association say there’s a good chance of the Pot Grown tree growing on after Christmas because the entire root system is intact inside the pot, including the tap root which is essential for the tree’s survival.
2. REMOVE THE PLASTIC BAG AND KEEP THE TREE COOL AND WATERED.
Once your pot grown Christmas tree is at home, remove its protective net and the plastic bag covering the bucket. Stand the tree in a cool but frost free place until it’s required. Before taking your real Christmas tree inside your house, completely soak the compost by immersing the pot in a bucket of water or watering little by little until the compost has become completely saturated. Leave it to drain before taking the tree indoors.
Pot grown Christmas trees need to be watered and cared for as for any house plant. Once inside your home your Christmas tree should be placed on a plant tray or large dinner plate and positioned in the coolest part of the room, away from radiators or other sources of heat. For the duration of its stay in your home, your Christmas tree should be watered regularly.
3. PLANT YOUR TREE OUT AFTER CHRISTMAS
Your pot grown Christmas tree can be put back outside after the festive season but it has been suggested that extreme temperature changes can shock the tree so it’s therefore best to move it from the house to a cool but frost free place (e.g the garage, porch or a spare bedroom with the radiator turned off) then after a week from there to the garden.
If you’d like to try to keep your pot grown Christmas tree going plant it out into the ground or into a larger container between New Year and the arrival of spring. A re-potted tree may be used as next year's Christmas tree. If you choose to keep your tree in a pot, it is much better to put the tree into a larger container to encourage the further development of the tree’s root system. Use a peat-based compost to give your tree a good start in its new home. Remember to feed and water your living Christmas tree regularly during the growing season (spring to autumn) especially during hot weather and definitely if it’s being kept in a pot. Some growers advise to give the tree a good soaking and then allow it to drain well. Christmas trees don’t like sitting in a puddle!
It’s worth noting that some retailers sell ‘potted’ or ‘root balled’ Christmas trees. These trees have usually been grown in the ground and dug up before putting them in a bucket for sale. The process of digging up the tree can damage the root system which is why they often have much lower survival rate that Pot Grown trees.
The Tree Amigos only stock ‘Pot Grown’ trees to ensure the best survival rate.