Landscaping & Nursery Information for Home Gardeners


Live Christmas trees should NOT be left indoors for more than three (3) days, and then only if room temperatures are kept on the cool side.

In cold climates, a hole to plant the tree should be dug as soon as possible before the ground freezes. The soil should be kept from freezing, either covering it with mulch or moving it into a warm location, such as a heated garage.

Live Christmas trees are usually ball-and-burlapped specimens; common trees are scotch pine, white pine, blue spruce and Douglas fir.

Keep trees cool and dormant until ready to use. If possible, tag trees at the nursery or garden center early, but pick up or have delivered a day or two before Christmas.

Indoors, keep trees cool and away from heat sources such as fireplaces and registers. Make sure to use only cool lights; any type of warmth may force the tree out of dormancy which means severe winter injury when transplanted outside.

As soon as Christmas is over, move the tree to an unheated garage or building to acclimatize it to outside temperature, then plant the tree outside. Backfill with soil and warm water. Mulch the soil thoroughly with a foot of mulch to prevent the soil from freezing quickly. The warm soil will induce root development and establishment. Do not use fertilizer.


The following recipes MIGHT help prevent Christmas tree fires:


1 cup Ammonium Sulphate 1/2 cup Boric Acid 2 Tablespoons Borax 1 Gallon Water

Mix the first three into the water. Spray tree.


5 Tablespoons Borax 4 Tablespoons Epsom Salts 2 Quarts Water

Mix the first two into the water. Spray tree.


Water is still the best preservative for Christmas trees. Make sure trees have a 1 inch fresh cut. ALWAYS keep the Christmas tree stand basin filled with water. If the tree absorbs all the water, the basin is empty and you haven't noticed, a fresh cut needs to be made on the tree, even if that means taking all the decorations off.

Aspirins, copper pennies, uncolas, sugar and bleach have not been shown to prolong the life of a tree.


Cut Christmas trees will NOT form roots and should be discarded as soon as needles start falling.

Occasionally, Christmas trees will develop new shoots and plants appear to be actively growing for several months. However, no records indicate any cut trees ever rooting.


To protect your Christmas tree from vandals:

Combine 20 ounces of hydrated lime and 4 ounces of an anti-desiccant and mix into paste. Add 20 gallons water and 2 bottle of your favorite colored food coloring. Spray entire tree.

Mixture should last through December and wash off with winter rains and snows.

Of course, you will have a colored tree in the landscape. But it will be there, instead of in someone else's house.

Please read the Copyright Information.

Painting_by Pio Carlone


  Garden Services Copyright © 2000-2023