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Success with Living Christmas Trees

Mountain Garden Nursery

Well, it is the holiday season and time to start thinking about Christmas and time to let people know something about the care of living Christmas trees. Getting a live tree should save you a lot of money because you should be able to use it as a Christmas tree for a few years as long as you keep it alive.

Here are a few points to help you make a decision:

• Most potted Christmas trees have a good chance of surviving the move from indoors to the landscape;

• The tree should not be kept in the house any longer than seven to 14 days;

• Cut trees are almost as expensive as live ones of the same size.

Someone I know put their live tree on their deck in front of the living room window. They decorated the tree and put the presents inside in front of the window. The tree didn't go through the indoor-outdoor shock and it was fine.

If you do decide to buy a live tree, here's some information about taking care of it:

• Keep your tree in an unheated garage or shed until ready to bring it inside to decorate. This will keep the tree dormant while protecting it from the harsh elements;

• It is best not to keep it in a warm room for more than 14 days, otherwise it may begin to come out of dormancy early and the transition will be too cold;

• Water the tree thoroughly several hours before bringing it in and then keep ice cubes on the root ball when inside to keep the soil moist and also keep the roots cool like they would be outside. Place in a cool spot away from heater vents and add ice every couple of days. Provide a saucer to catch excess water draining from the pot;

• If decorating with lights, use only miniature types that give off very little heat;

• After Christmas, move your tree back into the garage or porch for a couple of days. The tree can adjust to the temperature. Provide the tree with water after moving.

The nip in the air also tells us it's time to plant trees and shrubs. I have a great supply of plants from Oregon this year from Picea bakeri blue spruce to Mugho and Austrian pines and Baby Blue Spruce and Alberta Spruce all in one gallon size. We have many Colorado and Globosa Blue Spruce. A Dwarf Blue Spruce makes a beautiful shrub which grows about five feet high and wide. It looks great mixed with Mugho Pines and other Alpine trees. Korean Silberlocke Firs look great this year and have a purple cone! The Thuja Green Giants are eight to ten feet tall in 15 gallon cans. These trees also come in 1 and 5 gallon cans. Emerald Cone Western Red Cedars are in five gallon cans.

We still have many fall color plants, Maples, Ginkgo, Birch, Pistache, Sumac, Golden Rain, Burning Bush, Liquidambar, and Raywood Ash. New this year is the Pacific Sunset Maple (Acer truncatum) which is a smaller hybrid maple that still turns red. We also have in stock 15 gallon Jeffery Pines, Austrian Black Pines, and Hoopsii Blue, the bluest of the spruce trees.

New this year, just arrived on November 16, are Fir Needle candles from Rhode Island; great fir fragrance. Come in and smell them!

We also have Portrait Gardens – hanging succulent planters in three different sizes. Coming in mid-December are weathervanes and windchimes.

Come by and see all we have this holiday season! We are located at 503 S. Curry St. and are open Mondays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.