Cut Christmas Trees
Cut trees are still the most popular choice of real tree as they usually offer the most cost effective solution and are the easiest option for handling. For maximum freshness choose a rootballed tree and have the rootball cut off on the day of dispatch.
Immediately upon receipt of your tree, remove the packaging. Cut about 25mm off the base of the tree and stand it upright in a bucket of water in a cool building (garden shed or garage). Aim to keep the tree in a cool building for as long as possible, taking it inside just before Christmas. Make sure the water in the bucket is kept topped up and the spray the foliage with water daily if possible. Choose the coolest room in the house (hallway etc), away from open fires and direct sources of heat (radiators etc). Before taking the tree inside, check it fits properly in your stand or you’ve trimmed enough branches back if keeping it in a bucket. Put the stand (or bucket) in the chosen place in the house, no closer than 60cm to a wall to allow the tree to stand up. Put the tree in the stand and systematically clamp the tree into the stand, ensuring it is upright. If using a bucket, bricks wedged between the bucket and the trunk work well and offer good counter balance. Keep the tree watered in the stand and ideally spray the needles carefully with water everyday (taking care to avoid the lights!)
Take the tree out of the house as soon as possible after Christmas. There will inevitably be some needle loss in the process but nothing 5 minutes with a vacuum cleaner can’t fix. Take the tree to your nearest recycling centre because once chipped and composted, your tree can be recycled as mulch top dressing.
Potted Christmas Trees
If you want a tree that you can plant after Christmas then smaller potted Christmas trees have the best chance of survival because proportionally, they’ve lost less of their roots to enable them to be taken in to the house, but please remember, they are outdoor trees and taking them inside means we can’t guarantee their survival.
Immediately upon receiving your tree, remove the packaging. Store the tree upright in a cool building (garden shed or garage) and keep it well watered. Aim to keep the tree in a cool building for as long as possible, taking it inside just before Christmas and ideally putting it in the coolest room away from open fires and radiators. Water the tree daily and if possible, spray the foliage with water (taking care to turn off and avoid the lights!).
As soon as possible, after Christmas, take the tree outside. Dig a hole about 50mm deeper than the top of the pot and sprinkle a handful of bonemeal in the hole and on the soil to be back-filled. Carefully place the pot in the hole and pull the tree out of the pot. The soil may fall away but try and make sure that the soil and the roots stay in contact in the hole. Back-fill the hole, firming down each layer with your heel. Make sure the tree is upright and stake at 45 degree angle if necessary. Water roots and foliage copiously in dry periods. Don’t worry if some of the needles fall off initially – it may be transplant shock and they will come back if the tree survives.
We can’t guarantee your tree will live if you've kept it indoors throught Christmas but potted trees often do well and if you follow these directions, you will have given it the best chance of survival.
For more help on choosing a Christmas tree or a more detailed guide on caring for your chosen Christmas tree please take a look at our helpful guides: