How to Go Green With a Live Christmas Tree
December 19, 2016
While fake Christmas trees certainly do offer up many conveniences, they may not be as “green” of a choice a you might think. It may seem like cutting down a live tree that will only be enjoyed for a few weeks is a waste. However, as those trees on the farms are cut, new trees replace them. Plus, fresh trees can be recycled and mulched. Plastic Christmas trees, once thrown away, aren’t recyclable and contain toxins that seep into the environment from landfills.
Fresh trees in the home at the holidays couldn’t be more inviting and comforting. The smell of fresh greens is one of the wonderful scents of the year. When purchased from a reputable Christmas tree yard, your tree will be given a fresh cut and carefully wrapped for the ride home. Once home, immediately place in a tree stand filled with water. To ensure a safe tree that doesn’t dry out and become a fire hazard, keep it consistently watered. If the cut part of the tree is left to dry, it will not be able to soak up water and quickly dry out
If you want to take your “greenness” to the next level, you can choose a live potted tree for the holidays. This means you’ll also be planting a tree in the landscape after you’ve enjoyed it indoors. Live trees can be decorated indoors for up to five to seven days, then planted outdoors as a reminder of a baby’s first Christmas or the first Christmas in a new home. Fall and winter are good times to plant new trees in Texas.
Decorate Indoors: Acclimate your live tree to the indoors by keeping it on the porch, near the warm air of your home, or in your garage for about a week prior to bringing it indoors. Keep away from heating vents and fireplaces so your tree doesn’t become a fire hazard. Water every few days to keep it moist and thriving in preparation to moving outdoors.
Varieties of live trees that grow well in North Texas include:
Juniper ‘Blue Point’: At just 12’ high x 4’ wide, it’s perfect for smaller landscapes that need an evergreen plant to provide color and texture year round. Be sure to decorate each year even after it’s planted so plant it somewhere it can be a focus of your holiday decorations.
Italian Stone Pine is a unique Christmas tree perfect for those with a less traditional sense of style. A rounded canopy and deep green evergreen foliage are beautiful in large landscapes as this beauty grows up to 50’ tall x 30’ wide. Did you know...pine nuts come from this tree!
Oriental Arborvitae provides a beautiful screen in the landscape that hides ugly views or noisy (and nosy) neighbors. Once established, this tree is very drought tolerant. It grows to 15 to 25 feet.
Ready to plant outdoors? Plant as you would any other tree. Dig a hole as deep as the root ball, and twice as wide, in native soil. Add a root stimulator at planting time, soak with water, top-dress with mulch and enjoy!