Allotment Diary

Dealing with a potted Christmas Tree

Potted Christmas trees are quite a bit different if you’re used to bringing home cut, 5ft plus Christmas trees.

The real difference is the size, root stock and evidently the weight. The reason why these differ is due to the age of the tree.

Cut trees, that are around 5ft plus are on average around 3-4 years old, where as potted trees are around a year old, and even at that early age, the root stock required to keep the tree alive is quite substantial.

That’s to say – that a bigger tree, means a much bigger root stock.

What to expect

Potted trees, usually come in a bag, and the main reason for this is because they’ve been grown in a pot, especially equipped to let roots grow through. This means the plant will need repotting into something more substantial.

Roots are quite important, so I chose to cut the pot off with a stanley knife, being sure to not slice off any of the roots.

This was actually quit fiddly, because the pot is quite thick, and you’re navigating around the holes and roots of the pot, but I got there in the end.

Exposing the roots of any tree is always a bit of risky business, but it’s all done with the best intentions.

I shook off any excess earth and I used this excess soil, which was of top soil consistency, with some multipurpose compost and potted the tree in a pot that was of a similar size.

There wasn’t a slightly bigger pot available, but in the new year I’ll most likely seek one out with a view to get it repotted once it’s more established – assuming that it survives! I’ve never grown one before. 🙂

As with potting any new plant, I followed the rule of filling the pot with compost until it wouldn’t take anymore, patting it down and watering it in.

The finished product looks quite smart and is currently living outside with some outdoor lights – which is what I would recommend if you’re conscious of making a mess in the house. If that’s not a bother, then you would need some sort of dish to sit the tree in as it would need regular watering.

These sorts of Christmas trees are an actually great feature for any space in my opinion and it’s really great to look out and see the lights flickering in the dark.

If you can, I would recommend a potted Christmas tree, they look and smell great and after festivities have passed, you’ve gained a tree to admire all year round.

Have you grown a potted Christmas tree before? Did it survive? I’d love to know how it went 🙂

Allotment Diary

Tips to help make a Christmas Tree last longer

Now it’s December – we can start talking Christmas 🙂

Allotment Diary

Picking out a Christmas tree that will last

Christmas! Love it or hate it, one of the big highlights of every season needs hardly an introduction – the Christmas tree!

In the world that we live in, picking out a good tree is crucial to enjoying the festive season with your loved ones and there’s nothing worse than waking up on a snowy Christmas morning to a bald, dried out tree.

Something to bare in mind is that your Christmas tree is slowly drying out after being cut – so the key is to keep it moist or at least pick out a tree that is as fresh as possible.

It’s placement within the family home, exposed to gas and central heating only accelerates the drying out process, and is made even worse when you start adding lights, which also generate a certain amount of heat.

This in mind, I called upon Squires Garden Centres for some advice on what to look for when buying that all important Christmas tree:

  • Look for a tree with a good shape, evenly spaced branches and one strong leader at the top for your star or angel to perch upon.
  • Your tree should have lovely deep green needles (rather than paler green) and should not be shedding too many needles when you move it.
  • Nordmann and Fraser Firs will naturally have better needle retention than Spruce.
  • To really help needle retention cut a few inches off the base when you get your tree home and plunge the trunk in to a bucket of water ( as if it were a bunch of flowers) and keep your tree in a cool place until it is time to bring it in the house.
  • When you do bring it inside avoid placing it too near a radiator or other source of direct heat.
  • Above all enjoy the scent, colour and movement of a real Christmas tree this festive season

Questions you should ask when picking out a good Christmas tree:

  • Are the branches stiff?
  • Do the needles fall off when you shake it?
  • Is it a big tree – but actually quite light when you pick it up? A light tree will indicate, a dried out tree
  • Is the top bald or lacking needles?
  • As above, how green is the tree?

Luckily – it’s  been a good growing season for trees this year with enough wet weather during the year to promote good growth and good needle retention, so chances are, in our year 2014, you’ll be okay in whatever tree you pick out.

If you have any other Christmas tree tips, be sure to comment and let us know!

Merry Christmas!