Pot-grown Christmas trees are a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and make an excellent year-round focal point in the garden or patio. But, like all living plants, they do require some help along the way.
If you neglect your tree throughout the year, you can't expect it to be any fit state to act as the focal point of your Christmas decorations in December.
The good news is that a container-grown Christmas tree isn't too difficult to care for. Show it even a little love over the summer and you'll be delighted to bring it into the house come the festive season.
What is a pot grown Christmas tree?
Pot-grown Christmas trees are perfect for gardeners and those who enjoy tending plants. Unlike freshly cut Christmas trees, pot-grown ones can be moved into the garden when the festivities are over. With some care and attention, they'll thrive outside and can be brought back indoors every Christmas for years to come. They also make fantastic outdoor trees that can be adorned with twinkling lights to brighten up the long dark nights.
Pot grown vs potted Christmas trees
There is often some confusion over pot-grown and potted trees. This is understandable as they both have the root system attached and are both sold in containers. However, there is a marked difference between the two that shouldn't be underestimated.
Pot-grown trees are grown in pots from seedlings. This sets them apart from potted Christmas trees, which are grown in the ground before being dug up and transferred into a pot.
Potted trees may survive in the garden after Christmas but the chances of a pot-grown tree doing well are much higher. This is partly because the roots are kept intact, making them stronger, healthier and more stable. Potted trees will usually need to have their roots trimmed to fit the container, meaning they can't absorb moisture quite so well and aren't quite as resilient as they might otherwise be.
Why buy a pot-grown Christmas tree?
There are many benefits of buying a pot-grown tree. Apart from the fact that they are more likely than potted Christmas trees to survive the year, a living Christmas tree looks and smells amazing. They make a great talking point and your friends and family will be sure to comment on how fabulous your tree is.
Many of us are looking for ways to have a more sustainable Christmas and minimize the huge amount of waste that the festivities can produce. Choosing the right Christmas tree is an important factor when it comes to reducing Christmas waste.
Pot-grown trees are considered by many to be the most sustainable type of Christmas tree. This is because, with a bit of looking after, they can last for years. Compared to a freshly cut tree (that requires recycling when the festive period is over) or an artificial tree (made of plastic), a potted tree has more environmental benefits.
All our Christmas trees are responsibly sourced and grown in the UK, so you can rest assured you're not adding lots of transport miles to your tree's carbon footprint.
While pot-grown Christmas trees tend to be more expensive than cut or potted trees, they do work out cheaper in the long run. When cared for properly, a pot-grown tree will last for at least two or three Christmases, meaning you don't need to fork out cash to replace your tree every year.
A pot-grown tree will usually be smaller than a cut Christmas tree. This is ideal for smaller homes with limited space or for use as a second tree in another room. It also affords room for the tree to grow and you'll experience the satisfaction of seeing your tree take up a little more space next year.
Keeping your Christmas tree in your garden is extremely handy. Most of us are a bit pressed for time in December so take some of the pressure off by having your Christmas tree already on your property, ready to be decorated whenever you have the time.
And when the festivities are over, all you need to do is move your tree back outside. There's no need to cut it up to be recycled or to wrestle it back up into the attic where it will take up valuable storage space for 11 months.
How to care for your pot-grown Christmas tree
By their definition, we expect evergreen trees to remain green throughout the year. And while your tree will be an attractive addition to your garden, it will need some care and attention to thrive. This isn't overly complicated though and container-grown trees are relatively simple to look after.
Follow our care tips and you'll have a healthy tree that can be brought inside for Christmases to come.
Choosing the right spot for your living tree is incredibly important. Opt for a sheltered location out of direct winds. While conifers do well in a light sunny spot, they don't endure direct sunlight well during the hottest summer months. Your best bet is to choose a place that is in part shade or that only gets the morning or late afternoon sun.
Rotate your tree every few weeks so the foliage receives an even amount of light on all sides. This will help prevent it becoming lopsided from leaning towards the sun or becoming bushier on one side than the other.
One of the main issues for container-grown trees is keeping them hydrated in summer. Bear in mind that potted trees have less access to moisture than those planted in the ground. This means they dry out quicker and need to be watered more often, particularly during dry spells.
How much water your tree needs will largely depend on its size and you might be surprised how much water a larger tree will take.
If you don't want to be checking the moisture levels of your tree every day then try covering the soil with mulch. This can help the soil retain moisture for longer. Alternatively, you can use ice cubes to help the soil absorb the water slowly.
Keeping your tree well watered is essential but good drainage is just as important. Without it, your tree may succumb to root rot. Make sure the container has plenty of drainage holes to get rid of excess water and prevent water logging the soil.
Don't worry about drainage causing excessive moisture loss as the root system can absorb all the nutrients the tree needs from moist soil.
You'll find your living tree will require very little in the way of pruning and training throughout the year. However, a little trim now and again will help maintain a traditional Christmas tree shape. Any branches that are dead or dying should be cut away, as should any vertical shoots that might compete with the main stem.
For your tree to grow healthily during the summer, it's important to repot it in late winter or early spring, before the growing season starts. Ideally, your tree should be moved into a larger pot every year or two. Choose a container that is only slightly bigger than the current one. This will afford room to grow without overwhelming the roots.
Living trees are amazing to bring into the house for Christmas and with some care and attention, you can watch your Christmas tree grow and thrive for at least a few years.
Watching your tree grow over the summer months is incredibly satisfying and measuring the growth of your tree every year can become a new festive tradition. There's nothing like the appearance and fragrance that comes from bringing a real tree into the house in December.
To experience that from a pot-grown tree that you've tended and looked after on your own requires a bit of TLC over the summer. But the satisfaction that comes with it is definitely worth the effort!
At Christmas Trees Direct we have a range of Blue Spruce, Norway Spruce, Nordmann Fir, Fraser Fir and Picea Glauca Conica trees in a variety of sizes to suit your space. Our container-grown trees are carefully selected to be low maintenance with minimal needle drop, meaning your real Christmas tree will be the centre of attention, in the possible way!