Planting a live Christmas tree instead of putting up one that was chopped down is probably a good option at a time when everyone is trying to go green.
Living trees also enhance the holiday spirit, with love being extended not only to human members of the family but to our green neighbors as well. If you’re planning to plant a tree this year, here is an easy guide that will let you replant it without a hitch.
1. Dig a Hole
It is advised that you start digging early on in the season, before the ground freezes up and becomes difficult to dig through, but if you’re late, you can pour boiling water into the ground and then dig. The hole needs to be bowl-shaped and not too deep. Typically, the width of the hole is three times the depth.
2. Plant the Tree
You may need at least two people to help you do this, depending on the size of your tree. Try to place the root ball as close to the center as possible, and hold the tree upright while you fill up the hole, so that it doesn’t fall or lean to one side. The tree should not be buried deep, so keep the top of the root ball above the soil, so that it gets sunlight.
3. Tend to the Soil
Once you’ve planted your tree, the soil that your tree is to grow in should be aerated and loose, so you will need to mix some mulch in with the soil. Ideally, the amount of mulch used should be equal to the size of the root ball of your tree. You should be sure to use the soil that you removed when you dug the hole.
4. Water the Tree
This goes without saying, but your tree needs water once it’s planted. Water it once a week when you plant it, and twice a week for a season once you begin to notice a new growth bump. Water it once a week thereafter. Allow periods of dryness in the soil between watering.
Use something to cover the top part of the soil, so that the moisture in the soil is retained for a longer time. It can either be mulch, which should be places around the base of the tree, at least two inches high, or three inches of shredded cedar bark. If you can’t get either of these two, using old and dry leaves can also have a similar effect.
6. Find the Right Food for Your Tree
Good plant food will help your tree grow into a healthier, sturdier tree. Using the water-soluble kind will help get the right nutrients for your tree in a slow and gradual manner. Several gardeners also use a root tonic for their plants to help grow more roots, which leads to a lusher tree.
7. Keep the Tree Upright
Your tree will need support to stay upright in the beginning. Place some stakes around your tree and tie the tree to the stakes using canvas straps or some other flexible material. You need to place the stakes a little away from the root ball, but still within the insulated area. The support can be removed after the tree has grown for a year.
Your Christmas tree will need careful tending to for the next few years to come, so make sure you’re committed to that kind of caring.
Stay prepared for the next season and plan all your tree planting and related activities well in advance to avoid any unpleasant experiences. This Christmas will be a particularly rewarding one with the smell of fresh pineapple filling your house.
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