It’s that time of year again when we think about putting up the Xmas tree
Fake Christmas trees are very easy to use – just take them out of the garage, set them up, and you’re good to go.
However, nothing can replace the fresh, woody, and piney smell of having a real tree in your home when you’re all cosied up with your entire family under the beautiful Christmas decorations.
But buying a Christmas tree every year and then throwing it away seems like an awful lot of waste. So, what to do…?
According to The Independent, there are 6-8 million Christmas trees thrown out every year. So, what if you could grow your own Christmas tree right in your garden and use it for several years to come?
Well, with the right preparation and research, you can do that! In this post, I’ll go over the main things you should know when growing a Christmas tree in your garden.
Buying a Young Plant vs. Planting Your Own
You have two main options for getting a beautiful Christmas tree: growing it from the seed or buying a young plant that’s about 2ft high.
Growing your own is a satisfying and rewarding process, but you’ll need to wait around 10 years for it to be an appropriate size for a good fit inside your living room. Too long? Yes, probably, as the kids will have grown up by then.
The faster and more efficient option is to buy a young plant and wait for it to grow to the desired size. These plants have been relieved of their baubles and tinsel and can be grown either in the ground or in a pot.
If you’re thinking of reusing the tree for many Christmases to come, it’s best to do it in a pot. There are many reasons behind this, which I’ll go over later.
For now, let’s see what you need to be careful of when buying a young Christmas tree.
Container-grown vs. Potted
Living trees in pots are by far the easiest to maintain and replant, but not all of them are the same. When you go shopping for a Christmas tree, make sure to ask whether it’s was grown in the pot from the beginning, or was it dug up from the ground and planted in a pot specifically for Christmas shopping.
Benefits of container-grown Christmas trees
Christmas trees that have been growing in the pot from the beginning have a much longer life and are easier to replant and grow yourself. This is because their original roots are still intact, allowing them to absorb water more efficiently.
They are usually more expensive to buy, and a bit small to use right away, but with the right planning, you can buy one this year, grow it yourself for a while and use it next Christmas.
And the fact that their roots are still intact means that they’ve been through less ‘stress’ and can be reused for a few years.
I’ll go over the best ways to care for your container-grown Christmas three in the next section down below, but now let’s find out what are the top 3 types of Christmas trees you can buy.
Top 3 Christmas Tree Types
The Norway Spruce is the traditional Christmas tree variety that has a mesmerizing pine scent and thin elegant branches on which you can hang all of your decorations.
They are available in a range of sizes, ranging from the small 2ft tree and up to a full-sized 5ft Christmas tree. This means that they’re incredibly versatile and can be used in many different ways than just as a Christmas tree.
The Fraser Fir has a similar size range to the Norway Spruce, but has a slightly narrower frame, making it perfect if you have limited space in your home.
Its pines are a little darker and with a blue-ish tint, giving it that cool and mysterious feel. If you prefer white Christmas decorations and lights, this is the perfect tree for you – the rick dark green foliage will accentuate the contrast.
The Nordmann Fir has a slightly wider base than the other types and less space between branches. This gives it that deep and tiered look many people are after when looking to decorate.
It has excellent needle retention, meaning you won’t have to run your vacuum every day.
If you want to purchase any of these types of Christmas tree, you can easily find plenty of online shops which will pick, pack and deliver your tree to you this year.
A reliable one in London that I have used before is this one, from Fantastic Services. You may recognise the name as they also do cleaning so they can clean up after its removal, too, if you so wish!
Best Practices for Growing Your Own Christmas Tree
The main decision you need to make when growing your own Christmas tree is whether you’ll plant it in the ground, or keep it in the pot.
If you wish to use it for a few years in a row, it’s best to keep it in the pot and replant it into a bigger pot annually until it reaches a size where it can’t be moved anymore. This means that you’ll get at least a few years of using it as a Christmas decoration.
To get the best out of the tree in the pot, keep it in a sunny spot and water it regularly. Christmas trees need regular watering, especially during the warmer days. The container needs to have good drainage, and a saucer or a mat underneath to catch any excess water.
They require very little pruning but still make sure to remove any dead or dying branches to prevent it from spreading out. Also, make sure to feed the tree with an all-purpose fertilizer in early spring to give it that nutritional boost to last through the summer.
Before taking it inside, give it a week inside the garage to acclimate to warmer air, and when you do place it inside, keep it in a slightly cooler place, not next to the radiator. Make sure not to keep it inside for more than 12 days and keep it watered at all times.
After a few years, when it’s become too big to move around and replant, you can plant it in your garden and use it as an outdoor Christmas tree. You can also decorate it with weatherproof Christmas lights and place other garden lights around it to turn your outdoor area into an enchanting festive scenery.
The caring process is the same as it was in the pot, but it will probably need a lot more water since it will be much bigger. Before planting it into the ground, make sure you’ve dug up a big enough hole and that the soil is not hard or frozen.
Growing your own Christmas tree is not so difficult after all. With enough planning and care, you can get 3-5 years out of it while it’s still in the pot, and after that, you have a beautiful lush tree to display in your backyard.
Just make sure to ask for any special requirements when buying it from your local supplier, and always follow the best practices.