If you don’t want to kill a tree this Christmas or your apartment strata doesn’t allow cut Christmas trees, why not try a Living Christmas Tree this holiday season? A living Christmas tree still has it roots attached and can live for many years (If you take care of it). You can choose from a selection of Living trees including Dwarf Alberta Spruce, Black Hills Spruce, Colorado Spruce, Norway Spruce, Omorika (Serbian) Spruce, Austrian Pine, or Scotch Pine.
If you do choose a living tree this Christmas there are some important things to know about having a live tree indoors. The most important thing to know is that living trees cannot be kept inside the house for more than 7 to 10 days. If you keep your living tree indoors for too long the tree will think that it is spring and start to grow. Then when you put it outside the tree will go into shock and die. If you try to keep your living tree indoors all winter it will not be able to handle the warm, dry air and it will still die. Which generally defeats the purpose, doesn’t it?
In order to prevent this from happening you should acclimatize the tree to indoor temperatures by following these steps:
On the first day place the tree in a cool area between 10° and 15° C (50° to 59° F)
On the second day bring the tree indoors and place in its spot
Place the tree away from the fireplace and all heating vents
Keep the roots of the tree moist while indoors by checking it every day
Use only miniature or LED Christmas lights
Do not leave the lights on for more than 4 to 6 hours per day
When the Holidays are over you need to acclimatize the tree to outdoor temperatures by:
Placing the tree in a cool area for at least two days prior to moving outside
Plant the tree in the garden with liquid transplanter fertilizer (If the temperatures outside are below freezing then keep the tree moist and cool, but prevent it from freezing, and delay planting until the ground has warmed up)
If you follow these simple steps you can enjoy your live tree for several years before it gets too big and needs to be planted in the ground!