Wondering what to do with your live Christmas tree after the holidays? Just plant it. Here’s how.
Choose the right tree. Growing Earth Tree Care, a website dedicated to improving the environment, recommends buying a tree that will thrive indoors before Christmas and also outdoors after Christmas. Most local growers are more than happy to advise you on the best tree for your region.
Acclimate the tree. Chances are, you house is warmer than outside. Set the tree on your porch or in the garage for a few days after Christmas and allow it to get used to the colder weather. At this point, you should have already removed the decorations.
Select a spot. You should have done this before or when you bought the tree, but if you didn’t, be sure to choose a spot with full sun, good drainage and adequate space.
Plant the tree. The hole should be the same depth as the root ball and at least twice the width. In most cases, you won’t need to add soil enhancements as long as the area is well drained and the soil adequate.
Place the soil. The soil may be too cold initially. If that’s the case, do not fill in the hole. Set the soil aside on a tarp or in a basket and let it warm up inside before backfilling the hole. If you plan on using stakes, be sure to place them before the ground gets too hard.
Fill the hole. Once the soil is adequately prepared, use it to backfill the hole. The hole is best filled in layers. Add soil. Pack. Add more soil. Pack. Continue until the entire hole is full.
Apply mulch. Put two to three inches of mulch over the root ball and surrounding area. There’s no need to add fertilizer until spring.
Water. Be sure to water the tree regularly, especially during thaws.