Anybody do a Live Christmas Tree?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by A'sta at Hofstead, Nov 14, 2006.

  1. A'sta at Hofstead

    A'sta at Hofstead Turkey Wrangler

    Messages:
    5,193
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2006
    Location:
    New Hampshire USA
    Just wondering what a live christmans tree entails, it would be nice to be able to plant the tree in the spring, lord knows we now have the room. Where do you store it after Christmas? Seems like a great idea....... less fire hazard.
     
  2. frazzlehead

    frazzlehead AppleJackCreek Supporter

    Messages:
    3,717
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Location:
    near Edmonton AB
    We always do a real tree. The smell is amazing. :)

    There are some tricks - you need to saw the stem off outside before you bring it in, since it is sealed with sap at the bottom and you have to open it up so it can drink (just like trimming cut flowers before putting them in water). You need a tree stand that can hold water - there are some neat ones with funnels etc for refilling more easily, but a wine bottle or pop bottle will work to reach under and pour more water in as well. You need to water daily or it dries out and drops the needles faster.

    We never used a fancy tree skirt, but a big white sheet on the floor: catches the needles nicely, and when you are ready to take the tree out after the holidays, you can wrap it up in the sheet and pull it out the door. A broom and a shop vac pick up the mess (it always leaves needles behind).

    Taking the lights off OUTSIDE is sometimes the best option - fewer needles all over that way. If it's really nasty, I've seen Dad use trimming shears to clip the branches close to the light bulbs to avoid yanking the wires off over the needles and scattering them everywhere.

    In town, the city picks up the trees and makes them into mulch for the parks and walkways. Out in the country, I presume I'll just drag it off into the bush and let the animals live in it, like it was a normal fallen tree. :)

    You can't replant them, they are like cut flowers and die when they are done. However, they *are* more environmentally friendly than fake trees - they are a renewable resource, do not go in landfills when they are old and tired, take no 'stored energy' to produce (well, a bit, I guess, gasoline for the chainsaw and maybe the truck to transport it - but no packaging, no factory, etc), and they make nice mulch when they are all done serving as a holiday tree.
     

  3. sewsilly

    sewsilly Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,638
    Joined:
    May 16, 2004
    Location:
    sc
    Are you talking about a rootballed tree? I did one of those one year, paid quite a bit and it was beautiful. I was told it could only stay in the house about 5 days. I put it in for 4 days, in a coolish room. It was still too big of an adjustment. It was planted, but died.... sigh....

    We just cut a real tree from the woods, usually a weird shape, with some attending creatures (bug egg cases)
     
  4. sweetcountrygrl

    sweetcountrygrl Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,066
    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    You can buy a "balled" tree and plant it later. I did a quick search to see if there were any instructions...
    http://forestry.about.com/od/christmastrees1/ht/living_x_tree.htm

    My dad was really into doing this when I was a little kid and we did this quite a few times. They were planted on my grandparent's farm and 30 years later are big beautiful trees.
     
  5. Yldrosie

    Yldrosie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    785
    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2006
    Location:
    NV
    I've had live (root ball) trees for years. Everything from blue spruce, black pine, israeli pine, and bristlecone. Kept them in for a short time, then in the garage till the ground thawed. The black pine is now about 20 feet, the blue spruce, slow grower, is about 10, and the israeli about 30 feet. They, and some others have all done fine. I live in the cold end of area 7 in northern NV. The bristlecone is the most unusal, and most beautiful.
     
  6. A'sta at Hofstead

    A'sta at Hofstead Turkey Wrangler

    Messages:
    5,193
    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2006
    Location:
    New Hampshire USA
    I have always had "real trees" but like the idea of a plantable one, too bad you can only leave them inside for such a short time. I like to have mine up for 3+ weeks - I really like the idea at least for this year as it is our first year at the farm, the tree would be special. hmmmm, what to do?
     
  7. Farmer Willy

    Farmer Willy Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,249
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2005
    Location:
    A short way past Oddville
    I've done it in the past, with the same tree, two years running. Make sure you dig the hole it will be planted in before the ground has frozen, bring that dirt into the garage or basement so it's not frozen, cover the hole with straw, bags of leave ect. so it's not frozen. Keep the tree in a cold area so it stays dormant till it comes inside, then no more than a week inside. When you plant it (and while it is inside) keep it moist but not dripping. Also helps to spray it with an antidesicant spray when you take it back out since it won't have established roots yet. Keep it watered through the winter and spring till it can root.
     
  8. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,301
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    Location:
    So Cal Mtns
    We used to do containerized trees in Socal,indoors a good 2 weeks,then planted.Never lost one.In 6 years you have BIG trees.

    BooBoo
     
  9. whitewolf

    whitewolf Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    335
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2003
    Location:
    Mississippi
    I have done it and agree with all of the above. Things that were not mentioned....you need strong backs to bring the thing in (now mine are usual about 5 foot tall)...the root ball is pretty good size (thus you need a pretty good size container). Also, on some of the live trees I have had trouble with some of my heavier ornaments. But I love the smell of "real" trees. Come on guys.....I was just going to go buy one of those little already decorated trees this year.....just can't seem to get in the mood.....now after reading these post.....I want to start stringing popcorn and cranberries and making gingerbread men.....I'm leaving now. lol
     
  10. farmmaid

    farmmaid Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,564
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2003
    Location:
    New York
    We have done many balled trees. We leave them outside on the proch and decorate them there. After Christmas we wrap the rootball and put straw around it to protect it from the wind (water throughout the winter). We plant them in the spring, have never lost one. This year Agway was having a 60% off trees the first part of November. I bought 2 lovely balled Canada Hemlock trees. We have French doors in our bedroom that go outside. One will be decorated outside the door and the other on our front porch...Joan
     
  11. I guess I don't hold my mouth right when planting them as every live tree that I used for Xmas ended up dying after planting. I eventually gave up on using live tree's and went back to cut tree's.
     
  12. Queen Bee

    Queen Bee Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    6,725
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2004
    Location:
    NC
    We have tried several 'live' trees and they have all died w/ in a year! I finally asked a friend w/ now sells Christmas trees. He said it was a waste of money and back (because of the weight) to purchase a root balled Christmas tree IF you were going to have it in a hot dry house for two weeks--or more! He suggested that if I reall wanted to purchase a rooted tree--to either buy the "live' tree and leave it in a tub so I could water it reg., pulling the burlap away from the trunk, cover w/ moss or a damp blanket, keep it outside as long as possible and after Christmas return it to a protected area w/ part sun/part shade for a week then into bright sun.. We purchased a huge artifical tree and buy a root-balled tree to plant outside! QB
     
  13. DenverGirlie

    DenverGirlie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,187
    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2005
    Location:
    Evergreen, CO
    we always had a live tree, root balled. A small one, set upon a old wooden wheelbarrel with a LARGE tree shirt to cover the large plastic container we set the root ball in.

    Had it in the house for weeks... not days. Everyone of those trees have now grown much larger outside. It's nice because we can go and walk round the various X-mas's on the property.
     
  14. Jenn

    Jenn Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    7,220
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2004
    Location:
    Alabama
    We'd use a small live tree, as would my dad. One of my dad's got higher than the 3 story house and had to be cut down.