The Q&A Archives: Live Christmas Trees

Question: We would like to have a live Christmas tree, one that we can plant after the holidays. What is the best way to do this? Will it survive if we keep it indoors through the holidays?

Answer: Unfortunately, it is very stressful on trees to be used as indoor Christmas trees. Ideally they would be kept indoors for only a few days and in any case no more than a week. They should be kept cool and the rootball needs to be kept moist while indoors. If the ground tends to be frozen by Christmas, it is a good idea to dig the planting hole ahead of time and keep the backfill in a location that does not freeze so you can use it to plant the tree right after the holiday. At this point (January) you may not be able to dig a hole, if not then you will need to try to keep the tree in a cool, sheltered location until the ground thaws. An outdoor location out of the wind is best, and you should heap mulch around the rootball to try to insulate it from the extreme cold.

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