After the holidays, instead of cleaning up falling needles and watching your Christmas tree turn brown, simply take it outside, roots and all, and plant the pine in your yard.
You’ll not only have a fresh smelling tree for your home during the holidays, but when you plant it outside you’ll have a reminder of this Christmas for many years to come. The cost for a “live” tree is anywhere from $15 to $125 depending on the size of the tree and where you live. Compared to a “cut” tree, you’re saving money, because no matter what you would pay at the tree lot, you’ll be enjoying its beauty and shade for years.
You can buy a living Christmas tree at most nurseries. Just remember not to leave your tree inside for too long. A week to a week and a half is enough. So buy your tree right before Christmas and you can enjoy the decorations until New Years. Then trade in the tinsel and lights for a shovel and a rake and outside you go. One of the most popular Christmas trees that also does well in your yard is the Norway Spruce.
But if you don’t have a yard, consider the Norfolk Pine. It makes a great Christmas tree with its long, lean branches. And this is one pine that likes to stay indoors. Just make sure you keep it well watered and in a sunny window. If you see the roots getting pot bound, repot so your Christmas tree will get taller every year.
Tips on how to enjoy a “living” Christmas tree:
- Make sure the tree is not too heavy. If you’re used to carting home a cut tree on the top of your car, remember, a live tree has roots, soil and a pot. Lift the tree before you buy it to make sure you can carry everything through the door and possibly up stairs!
- Look for green needles with no brown spots or droopy branches. Circle around the tree to make sure it’s not losing needles before you hand over your money.
- Protect your floor. Remember, a tree is like any other house plant. You need to water it. Make sure you put a pan underneath the pot and an old cloth under that. You don’t want a ring on your floor when you go to take your tree outside!
- You’ll need a bigger cloth to drape around your Christmas tree. Because you’re covering not only the base of the tree, but soil and a pot as well. An old sheet that you decorate with glitter will work well.
- Get the whole family involved. When it’s time to plant your Christmas tree, let the kids help. If you teach them about the benefits of recycling, now’s the time to talk about how trees help the environment.
- Don’t forget to register your tree with the United Nations Environment Program. “One tree can make a difference…A billion can help save the planet.”