If you have opted for a live Christmas tree (potted tree) this year proper care must be taken in caring for a live Christmas tree in order to ensure it will be plantable after the holiday. SavATree’s Tree Specialists suggest following these care tips:
1- If transporting the tree via the roof of a car, cover it with cloth or tarp. If left uncovered, a lot of moisture can be lost when hit with high winds.
2- Let the tree acclimate to the warmer temperature before bringing it indoors. If possible, start with the shed, then garage or screened in porch and finally inside.
3- Keep the root ball moist throughout and wrap in plastic or place in a pot that’s acceptable for indoor use.
4- Do not remove burlap or any soil while in the house.
5- Keep it in a cool place away from vents, heaters, fireplaces and stoves. Consider lowering the temperate of the room its kept in at night.
6- Don’t use tinsel or fake snow. Both are dangerous to wildlife.
7- The tree should not be kept indoors more than 10 days – less is better.
8- When its time to bring the tree outdoors again, slowly acclimate it to the cooler temperatures as you did when bringing it in.
Ready to replant the live tree? Follow these steps.
1) Find the perfect spot to replant. Know how large the tree can grow to avoid future problems. Never plant under a utility wire.
2) Dig a hole 2 to 5 times wider than the root ball, and partially refill the hole with loose soil.
3) Place the tree in the hole, making sure that the trunk flare is above soil level. This is the most common mistake made when planting a live tree; and if not done, can kill the tree.
4) Make sure to water – even in the winter!
5) During the first year in its new home, the tree will be fragile. Begin with supplement and nutrient treatments such as ArborKelp® – a seaweed based biostimulant exclusively available from SavATree. It’s formulated specifically for weak trees due to, among other causes, transplanting.
6) The following spring, begin using fertilizer. Deep root fertilization, preferably with injection technology, can help to ensure that the tree is getting the nutrients it needs. ArborKelp treatments should be continued yearly for best results. Most of the trees on your property will benefit from regular fertilization.
7) Consult with an arborist about applying an antidesiccant. This will seal in the tree’s moisture thus minimizing sun and wind damage during the winter months.
If you are in the San Diego area, be sure to check out the Adopt A Tree program for live Chritsmas trees! If you were not ready for a potted tree and you are using a cut tree, you can find tips and suggestions on how to care for a fresh-cut tree this holiday season, at the National Christmas Tree Association’s website.