Planting a Live Christmas Tree

Perhaps you’re looking to start a new family tradition for the holidays by planting a live Christmas tree in your yard. Though many of the varieties we think of as ‘Christmas Trees’ grow better in areas to the north of us, there are some that will fare better than others in our Georgia climate. With some careful care and attention, you can have a living tree grow successfully in your yard.

It’s best to start with a tree that can tolerate Georgia’s temperatures. Though many people prefer the trees woodpecker 996685 1280of their childhood Christmas memories, Fir, Scotch Pine, and Spruce trees have a hard time surviving Georgia’s hot summers. The trees that grow best in Georgia include:

· Sand Pine, White Pine, Virginia Pine

· Red Cedar

· Arizona Cyprus, Leyland Cyprus, Murray Cyprus

· Canadian Hemlock, Carolina Hemlock

If you are also using the tree as your inside tree for the season, keep in mind that the tree will do best if not kept inside for more than 2 weeks. It’s best to buy the tree as close to Christmas as possible and be sure not to place it near heating vents. You will need to water it slowly and thoroughly from the top of the root ball every day that it is indoors. Before planting, let it sit in the garage for a day or so to get reacclimated to the outside temperature.

When deciding where to plant your live Christmas tree, remember that many of these trees can grow very large. Avoid planting them too close to your home or too close to other trees. Location of powerlines should also be something you consider. Different trees will require different amounts of shaping and shearing. It’s best to do some research on the type of tree that lends itself to your schedule and skill set before you choose.

When you’re ready to plant, choose an area that drains well. Dig a hole 6-feet wide and approximately 1 foot deep, backfill, water well, then mulch. And remember, the tree will need to be watered weekly until the spring. With the right care, the tree can be a festive part of your landscape year-round for years to come!

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