The Q&A Archives: Replanting Live Chistmas Tree

Question: Could you please provide the proper method for replanting a live Colorado Blue Spruce (christmas) tree in late December? The tree is 5 feet tall with a 2.5 x 2.5 feet root ball. I am in southeastern PA. The tree has been indoors for 12 days.

Answer: The tree should be planted as you normally plant a tree, using a very wide hole no deeper than the rootball and then watered in carefully to settle the soil. Be sure to return all of the soil to the hole and make sure to plant the tree no deeper than it originally grew. You should also remove any wrapping and string or wire. Be sure the rootball is well watered, especially since it may have dried out a bit while indoors. Finally, apply a layer of organic mulch several inches thick around the tree but not touching the trunk. Keep an eye on soil moisture levels for at least the next entire year. If the soil is not frozen (this season has been so oddly warm) it may dry out and so you may need to water in fall and possibly even occasionally in the winter. Your tree will need an average of an inch of water a week from either you or the sky during the growing season. Check the soil at the rootball to see if you need to water or not. If it is in a particularly windy location you might need to stake it or (my personal preference) erect a temporary windbreak for the first winter. If the tree came with a garantee and instructions you might wish to follow them since trees kept indoors in warm temperatures more than a day or two and then planted can be very stressed.

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