Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, and what Christmas celebrations would be complete without a tree? From the decorations to the presents beneath, the Christmas tree really is the cornerstone of the holiday season.
But what happens when the celebrations are over? When the decorations start to come down and all the presents have been opened? While many trees are thrown out every year we know there are some of you out there wondering, can I replant my Christmas tree?
Well, the good news is, yes you can! Not only will this save you some money over the years but it’s one step closer to making Christmas that little bit more sustainable. Read our tips below on how to plant a Christmas tree in the garden after the festivities are over.
Planting your Potted Christmas Trees
Did you know that six to eight million Christmas trees are thrown out each year creating an undeniably large amount of waste? (The Independent) Why add to this waste when we can plant our Christmas trees out in the garden to bring in again next year, thus saving you some money and also helping to save the planet.
Living trees in pots are by far the easiest to replant, however, first, you need to find out what type of container tree you have.
A container-grown tree usually has the best replanting success rate. This is because they have been grown in a pot from a small seedling and will still have all their roots intact.
Potted trees that have been dug up and planted in a pot especially for Christmas can still be planted with a decent success rate. Just be aware that they may have some root damage from the process and will have experienced a little more stress.
If you are unsure about which type of tree you have, contact the seller and they should be able to clarify this information.
Preparing to Plant
The first step to getting the best success rate is to take great care of the tree while it’s still in your home over Christmas. See our Ultimate Christmas Tree care guide for tips and advice.
Ensure you keep your Christmas Tree cool and well-watered while it’s inside. Keep it away from areas with central heating or fireplaces, make sure the soil stays moist but not wet and place it in an area that gets plenty of light in the winter.
The transition of moving your trees indoors to outdoors is an important step in the process. The tree needs time to acclimatise to the colder weather again and moving it straight outdoors to an icy garden can cause shock to the tree which can be fatal.
If it’s a particularly cold winter, start acclimatising your tree gradually. This can be done by first placing it in an unheated garage, greenhouse or even a porch for a week or so. Once it’s sat here for a while, it will then be ready to move outdoors.
Planting the Tree
Choose a day to plant that is slightly warmer - like with most trees, you want to avoid planting it when the ground is waterlogged or frozen.
Water your tree while it’s still in the pot so that it is well hydrated and you can easily remove it. Dig a hole wide enough to fit the rootball and deep enough to the trunk is a ground level. Do not bury the trunk deeper than ground level as it may start to rot.
Fill in the hole around the tree with the remaining soil and water well again. If the winter is particularly dry, make sure to water more regularly. Other than that, all that’s left to do is wait until the roots have become established in the soil.
To help keep moisture locked into the soil we recommend mulching the around the tree with organic matter. Keep it at least an inch away from trees trunk as this can cause fungal infections.
When it comes to next Christmas, it is possible to dig up the same tree, re-pot and bring back indoors. However, the stress of root damage and the tree acclimatising to the warmth again can sometimes prove to be fatal.
Making the transition to the indoors as gentle as possible is going to ensure that the tree survives another Christmas unscathed.
Another option is to leave the tree outdoors and decorate it. That way, you can have two Christmas trees both indoors and out.
If you are planning to use the same tree next year and want to reduce the amount of fuss, try repotting it into a larger container instead of planting into the ground. This gives the tree some space to grow and you won’t need to dig it up again.
When bringing your tree back indoors, bear in mind that you will need to acclimatise it from the cold. Just like when you were putting the tree outdoors, start by placing in a unheated garage or porch before bringing all the way into the home.
Planting your Cut Christmas Trees
Christmas trees are not able to produce more roots once they’ve been cut. When planted or put in water the trunk will simply start to rot.
There’s still hope though!
Instead of just throwing the tree out, take some cuttings as soon as you can. These can be dipped into a rooting hormone and planted into compost.
The cuttings should start to grow roots in a couple of weeks and you can start growing your own Christmas tree straight from cuttings of this one.
Whether you are able to replant your Christmas tree or not we should strive to recycle and put to good use rather than just throwing it out. See more on how to recycle your Christmas tree and let’s all have a greener Christmas.
That’s all for us for now, wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful new year!