Should you have a cut or potted Christmas Tree?

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It’s a question we often get this time of year at the nursery – should we get a cut tree or a potted tree?

Each has its positives and negatives and most have to do with timing. You can have your cut tree up and in your house longer. On the other hand, even though your potted tree can only be in your house for about a week, it will soon become part of your garden landscape.

Here’s our guide to caring for both this holiday season:

Cut Trees

This year we have a selection of Noble Firs, Douglas Firs and Nordman Firs.

While you can bring your cut tree inside earlier than a potted tree, there’s often a fear that it will dry out before the holiday arrives. Here’s a few tips that will make sure your tree stays fresh throughout the season.

Before you bring your tree indoors, spray it with Cloud Cover to preserve the needles and help them keep their moisture. Make sure you make a fresh cut of at least half an inch off the trunk to allow the tree to take up water. However, remember you need to set up your tree immediately after making the cut (get it in water within 15 minutes at the most!) If you don’t, the cut area will seal off and not be able to take up water.

Once the stand is mounted and your tree is properly situated in its place of glory for the season (far away from heater ducts and/or fireplaces!) fill the water tray with luke warm water. Add Keeps-it-Green liquid to the water, to help keep the tree fresher longer. Check the water level in your tree stand daily. Always keep the trunk immersed in water. 

Potted Trees

Living Christmas trees are an excellent option for many homeowners. Given the proper care, the trees can be indoors for the main event, and then planted in the yard to enjoy for years to come. This year we have Colorado Spruce, Fat Albert Spruce, Austrian Pine, Dwarf Alberta Spruce, and Ponderosa Pine.

Your living Christmas tree can only remain indoors for a week at most, otherwise it will begin to break dormancy and won’t survive when you plant it outside.

Before you bring your tree indoors, place it in partial sunlight for one week, which will help the tree to acclimate to the heat inside your home. The day before bringing it inside, hose it down to remove dust and insects. Clean out any dead needles by hand. Finally, spray with Cloud Cover to protect against dehydration.

Once inside, set the tree in a large tray to catch water overflow and protect your floors. Make sure your tree is as close as possible to a window and away from any fireplaces or heating ducts. Water your tree daily with cold water (use ice cubes if possible). This will also help prevent the tree from breaking dormancy. 

After the holidays, place your tree in a shady spot and out of the wind until you’re ready to plant. Thoroughly water the tree immediately after transferring outdoors, then water once a week. Trees may be planted any time during the winter if the soil is not frozen. It is best to plant the tree as soon as possible. If the tree is to be left in a pot, water every 3-5 days.

Happy gardening and Happy Holidays,