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Quick Guide to choosing a species for a pot grown Christmas tree
There are various types of pot-grown trees used for Christmas decorations, each with their own pros and cons:
- Spruce Trees:
- Advantages: Retain needles well, have a classic Christmas tree shape, and give off a lovely scent.
- Disadvantages: Prickly needles can be a bit challenging for handling, and they might shed needles if not properly cared for.
- Fir Trees:
- Advantages: Excellent needle retention, soft needles that are less prickly, and a pleasant fragrance.
- Disadvantages: Can be more expensive, and some species might be harder to find in pot-grown form.
- Pine Trees:
- Advantages: Variety of species available, some with long-lasting needles and good shape.
- Disadvantages: May have a coarser appearance, and certain types might shed needles more quickly.
After Christmas care for pot-grown trees involves:
- Watering: Ensure the soil remains consistently moist but not waterlogged. Place the tree in a cool location away from heat sources to prevent drying out.
- Transitioning: Gradually introduce the tree back to outdoor conditions after the holiday season. Start by placing it in a sheltered spot for a few days, then transplant it to its permanent spot.
- Feeding: Consider giving it a slow-release fertiliser suitable for evergreens to aid its growth.
- Repotting: If the tree has outgrown its pot, transplant it into a larger container to give it more room for growth.
Proper care after Christmas is crucial to help the tree survive and thrive beyond the holiday season.
Dry heat indoors, typical in most houses during the winter, can lead to several problems for pot-grown Christmas trees:
- Needle Dropping: Dry indoor air can cause rapid moisture loss from the tree, leading to excessive needle dropping. This can make the tree look bare and less attractive.
- Dehydration: Lack of humidity can dehydrate the tree, causing it to dry out faster than usual. This makes it more susceptible to diseases and can reduce its post-Christmas survival rate if not properly cared for.
- Brittle Branches: Dry heat can make the branches of pot-grown trees more brittle and prone to breakage, especially when handling or decorating the tree.
To mitigate these issues, it’s crucial to place the tree away from direct heat sources like radiators, fireplaces, or heating vents. Additionally, regularly misting the tree’s foliage or using a humidifier to increase indoor humidity levels can help maintain moisture and minimise the impact of dry indoor conditions on the tree.