dreamstime_xxl_16025093Nothing says Christmas better than a coniferous tree wrapped in lights, trimmed with glistening baubles and homemade trinkets, and topped with an angel or a star. Whether you choose pine, spruce, or fir, it will fill your home with a fresh scent and the green will set off your decorations beautifully. A Christmas tree is the centerpiece of holiday decoration – that is, until the tree starts dying and the needles turn brown and fall off.

This Christmas, instead of spending ages on Google trying to find different tips and tricks to keep your tree alive longer, try a living tree as your holiday centerpiece!

Be More Eco-Friendly

A living Christmas tree is an evergreen that has been unearthed and the roots wrapped so you can have a live tree for the holidays and plant it in your yard in the spring. The biggest perk of getting a living tree for your Christmas tree is two-fold: You won’t be contributing to the usual rush of Christmas tree lots that end December with a sad collection of mostly-dead evergreens. Instead, you’ll be improving the earth! By investing in a living tree, you’ll be making an eco-friendly contribution to the earth!

Finding Your Tree

Now, we’re not suggesting you go out back and dig up that great evergreen you’ve got growing  in your backyard. Many local nurseries grow a variety of evergreens for the Christmas season. Most of them would rather sell you a tree that will continue living after the holiday season is over. If your nursery doesn’t normally offer living Christmas trees, call and ask if they’re willing to reserve one for you.

Caring for Your Living Tree Inside

Because this is a tree coming from the outdoors to your warm house in winter, you will need a few days to ease it into warmth before bringing it inside. Store the tree in your garage or a shed where it will be warmer and protected from the elements for a couple days before bringing it inside. This will give the roots time to warm and avoid damage to the tree. You’ll need to do the reverse process before taking the tree back outside into the cold.

For the first couple days inside, water your tree with ice cubes. This will further aid in a gradual increase in temperature to help the tree stay healthy. After a couple days inside, it’ll be safe to decorate as you normally would do to your Christmas tree.

dreamstime_xxl_21791395Decorating Your Living Christmas Tree

Because a living Christmas tree comes to you complete with roots, you’ll need to get a bit more creative about decorations. After the tree has been inside for a few days, transition from watering with ice cubes to using tap water. At that point, it will be safe to wrap the roots with a decorative cloth. Since your usual tree skirt may be too small, a Christmas tablecloth works just as well. You may want to place a water-resistant cloth of some kind, such as a tarp, underneath the tree in case the roots leak.

Planting Your Christmas Tree

After Christmas is over, give your tree its second life by planting it in your yard or donating it to a local park. If you live somewhere like Bellingham, where it’s too cold to plant in the winter, simply transition your tree back to colder temperatures. Return to watering it with ice cubes for a couple of days, then move it out to your garage for another few days. The warmth in your house will make your tree think it’s springtime, so be sure you don’t rush the transition process. Also, don’t leave your tree inside all winter. It will try to grow as it would during spring and do poorly because of the lack of sunshine and space for its roots.

If you’re thinking about getting a living Christmas tree this year, give us a call. Whatcom Tree Service are Bellingham’s tree experts; we can offer advice about caring for your tree or schedule an appointment with us to get your living Christmas tree planted!