It’s chilly outside and the frost has finally arrived in Sonoma Valley. For me, the winter means a break from outdoor field work. Meanwhile, while I’m inside working on next year’s farm plan, I like to be surrounded by plants and during the holidays, this means poinsettias and Christmas trees.
Here are my tips for helping your tree thrive indoors:
For me, the smell of pine trees is the scent of the holidays. Unfortunately, keeping a fresh Christmas tree healthy and vibrant can be tricky, but here are some tricks I’ve used over the years.
1. Once you get your tree home, make a fresh cut at the base of the trunk removing at least ½ inch.
2. Place your Christmas tree in a stand that can hold one quart of water per inch of trunk diameter.
3. Check the water daily adding as needed to make sure the trunk is always touching water. Personally I find it easier and less messy to refill the water by adding ice cubes (they will melt in no time).
4. Keep trees away from heaters and direct sunlight. It’s important to remember that pine trees are meant to be outside and our warm cozy homes can get too hot and dry for Christmas trees.
Also, keep in mind that a living tree is a great option that you can keep for years. Many plant nurseries and tree farms offer these for sale, and they’re easy to manage (they come with their roots in tact with soil wrapped in burlap).
Before bringing the tree inside, get your stand ready by using a large galvanized tub filled with two inches of gravel. Place the tree in the tub and water so that the roots are moist but not in standing water.
After the holidays, plant the tree outside and enjoy it for years to come.