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How About a Live Christmas Tree?

Christmas is getting really close and many tree lots are sold out of fresh cut trees. If you have not purchased a Christmas tree yet, but would still like to have one, your timing is perfect for a live balled and burlaped evergreen to use as a Christmas tree. When Christmas is over, the tree can be planted outdoors in the landscape. Evergreens are invaluable in a mature garden.
Several evergreens make good selections for Christmas trees that transition into the landscape. An Eastern White Pine is a soft choice and soft makes for easy decorating. Carolina Hemlock is another good choice and relatively soft to the touch. Spruce will also work as a Christmas tree, but it has coarse texture.
A few precautions should be taken so that the tree is not only a pretty Christmas tree, but also a showy tree in the landscape for many years to come. First of all, keep the tree indoors for a very short period of time. Warm it up for about half a day in a garage or porch. Then bring it indoors. When the holiday is over, cool the tree off the same way you warmed it up.
The second important thing is keep the tree watered. It is best to set the ball in a shallow pan or tub and water as the tree uses up the fresh supplied water. It is not a good idea that the tree stand in water. Wrap the tub and burlap ball with a bed sheet or tree skirt and it will take the shape of a pretty tree.
Third, plant the tree as soon after the holiday as possible. The extreme temperature changes will be hard on the tree. It is important to restore normal conditions as soon as possible. With good selection and a few precautions, your family can have a very memorable Christmas tree this year.  Merry Christmas!


The Happiest Christmas Tree


With Thanksgiving behind us and Christmas less than one month away, many families will be heading to a tree farm, nursery, or retail outlet to choose their Christmas tree. It is the focal point of the holiday decorations and it is loaded with traditions so it is an important purchase at the beginning of the holiday season.

I am often asked “What kind of tree should I choose?” and my response is always, “A fresh one!” It seems like a no brainer, but many trees are cut in the summer, put in storage, painted and then sold as fresh cut trees. That does not seem very fresh or sweet to me. I always buy from a local source who can tell me where the trees were grown and who grew them. Since I live in Nashville, I have learned to purchase a Frazier Fir. That’s the same kind of Christmas tree that the White House always use and they are beautiful and well shaped. Grown in North Carolina, they are soft , dark green, and full branched. They hold up well to the weight of the lights and all the decorations. They are very dark so a good decorating technique is to use white lights to light the trunk and interior of the tree and then use colored lights on the outer branches to electrify the child in each and every one of us.

If I still lived north of the Ohio River, my choice for a Christmas tree would be a White Pine. To me it is important to decorate a soft tree. If it is to be a family activity, little people quickly tire of being poked by the needles of a sharp tree.

It is very important to put a fresh cut at the bottom of the trunk on the tree no matter what kind of Christmas tree you choose. You can ask the tree retailer to make the fresh cut.  I then allow the tree to soak over night in a big pot of warm water in a freeze free environment. That allows the tree to soak up plenty of water before it comes in the house. Then, I never allow that tree to dry out once it comes in the house. This will keep the tree soft and supple throughout the holiday season.

Now comes the happy work of hanging the ornaments and making your Christmas tree the Happiest Christmas Tree while listening to Nat King Cole.