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How to Replant a Christmas Tree: Guide to Replanting Christmas Trees

Replanting Christmas trees is a popular activity in earth-friendly circles, but there is more to Christmas tree replanting than meets the eye; a living Christmas tree needs a bit of extra care to keep it alive to see another holiday.

Follow this primer on how to replant a Christmas tree and you should be good to go … without losing your gas or sewer service.

Tools of the Trade

*Phone number for utility services; *Shovel; *Mulch; *Water; *Tree Wrap (optional); *Root Stimulator (optional)

What Kind of Living Christmas Tree Do You Have?

Is it a fir, pine, or spruce? Sure, it does not matter for the purpose of hanging tinsel and baubles on it, but when it comes to finding just the right spot for your Christmas tree replanting, it makes a big difference.

Firs reach about 30 to 260 feet in height, pines usually bottom out at 50 to 150 feet, and spruces soar to about 65 to 310 feet.

The spot you choose for your replanting needs to match the heights to which the living Christmas tree will reach. A pine will do well in a more confined space whereas spruce needs a lot of room to grow and spread.

Do You Smell Something?

Did you know that there is a wealth of utility lines that are running underneath the ground? For all you know, you have the sewer line, gas line, and a host of other subterranean utilities on your property.

Make sure that the location you pick out for your living Christmas tree does not coincide with the location the gas company picked for their lines.

Acclimate the Living Christmas Tree to the Great Outdoors

Yes, a living Christmas tree is an outdoor being, but prior to getting started on replanting this tree, remember that it spent the last month or so in a nicely heated home.

Set it outside into sub-freezing temperatures, and the odds are good that this shock alone will be sufficient to make it drop its needles.

After Christmas, take the decorations off and then move the living Christmas tree to a cooler portion of the house, and then a semi-outdoor locale.

For example, you could go from the living room to the kitchen, from the kitchen to the basement, and from the basement to the garage. This process should not take more than about four to seven days.

Christmas Tree Replanting in 3½ Easy Steps

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Step 1. Dig Hole

You have the location for the replanting picked out and the living Christmas tree has become readjusted to the current temperatures of the great outdoors; next, it is time to dig the hole.

The hole should be 1.5 times the size of the root ball, but not so deep that part of the trunk disappears into the hole.

Step 2. Lower Tree into Hole

Do not just pull; Christmas trees are people, too! Gently loosen the tree from the confines of the pot, minimizing the amount of damage you do to the roots.

Step 3. Cover Root Ball with Dirt, Form Moat, Mulch, and Water

Christmas tree replanting is different from planting any flower or little shrub. You need to make a bit of a moat around the replanted tree.

This is where you place the mulch. Active Christmas tree roots are relatively close to the top of the root ball, and preventing them from freezing is a top priority, and this is where the mulch comes in.

Fill the moat with water, and ensure that enough trickles down to ensure that the replanted tree is getting a nice soak.

Step  3½. Pamper the Tree

Finally, add some root stimulator (not a fertilizer) to the mix and wrap the tree trunk to prevent frost damage.

This latter step is for those who like to baby their trees; an activity I myself am fond of doing. It is my hope that your living Christmas trees will grow and thrive to see another holiday season.


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