By Rick Gillies
Mountain Gardens Nursery & Pet, contributing writer 

Success with living Christmas trees


November 18, 2023


Baby Blue Colorado Spruce.

Well, it's time to let people know about the care of living Christmas trees! A living Christmas tree is a live tree which comes in a container planted in soil. People like them because they are beautiful inside and after the holiday, you don't throw them away, you plant it in your own yard. So it saves you money!

How to care for a living Christmas tree... here are a few tips!

Living trees have a good chance of surviving the move from indoors to the landscape.

1. The tree should not be kept in the house longer than 7-10 days.

2. If the weather is very cold, keep your tree in an unheated garage or shed until ready to bring inside to decorate. This will keep the tree dormant while protecting it from the harsh elements.

3. It is best not to keep it in a warm room for more than 10 days, otherwise it may come out of dormancy and the transition to outside will be too cold.

4. Water the tree several hours before bringing it in and then with ice cubes or block ice on the root ball when inside to keep the soil moist and the roots cool like they would be outside.

5. 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.

6. If decorating with lights, use only LED miniature types that give off very little heat.

7. After Christmas, move it back into the garage, shed or porch for a couple of days so the tree can adjust to the temperature. Provide the tree with water after moving.

8. Then plant the tree at your convenience!

The nip in the air tells us it's time to plant trees and shrubs! I have a great supply of Oregon plants now in the nursery. Here are just a few to choose from.

Baby blue eyes and Fat Albert get about 15 to 25 feet tall. Other spruces worth considering are hoopsii, the bluest of the spruces; Bakeri; Alberta and a couple of oriental spruce, Gowdy and Bruns. The Cedars available this year include Cedrus atlantica pendula, which is weeping; Cedrus atlantica glauca and fastigiata, which are relatively narrow; Deodora and a beautiful "blue mist" cedar, which also weeps!

We have lots of pines: Green Giant, Western red cedar and some Silberlocke firs, as well as many fall color plants ... far too numerous to list here! Just arrived from Rhode Island are the fir needle candles which add great fragrance to your home.

Many gift items are also available, including garden art, solar wind spinners, weather vanes, puzzles and wind chimes.

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


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