"O Christmas Tree!"
Real or Fake?
If you are considering getting a real tree this year when you normally have an artificial tree bear in mind that only trees with a healthy root ball can be re-planted. We advise that you go for one of these as they can be re-potted or planted out after Christmas is over. Opting for a real tree is always the more eco-friendly, it reduces your carbon footprint and saves you money!
Fake trees have their benefits as they are cheap, easy to store and can be reused for years and years (saving on waste)... but recycling them becomes an issue as most are made from plastics and materials that can't be recycled. Please consider donating your artificial tree or selling it on.
Did you know? It takes 10 years of re-using your artificial tree to make it's environmental impact lower than having a real tree.
Grow your own:
Growing your own Christmas Tree can be a lengthy, yet rewarding experience! It takes between 6 and 9 years to grow a tree big enough for decorating and bringing inside. However, whilst it grows outside you can decorate it with outdoor lights!
- To start you will need to grow seedlings in a greenhouse. You can buy a seedling from a garden centre to give you a head start. Grow in a pot.
- After 2 years and if you are planting your tree into the ground make sure the planting site has a slope. These trees need a well draining soil as they suffer with wet roots. Re-potting into a larger pot can be easier and means the tree can be moved from outdoors to indoors and back again. Younger trees cope better with this.
- Spruces and Firs like a sandy loam such as our Christmas Compost which has a dash of organic compost to feed you tree.
- Christmas tree species do not need a lot of water after their first year of growth. Make sure you water the seedling from late spring to early autumn once a week during its first year of growth.
- Trim the tree regularly to create the classic shape. Also cut back lower branches so there is a plenty of trunk.
- If you wish to harvest your tree to bring indoors we suggest cutting out the entire ball root so that you don't kill your tree.
- If you wish to cut your tree do this during late autumn - pop your tree into a container with water as soon as it's cut.
Not sure what to do with your used tree?
Create Christmas Compost:
Put your real Christmas tree into a chipper or shredder to create nutrient-rich mulch that looks and smells amazing. We're mulching advocates at Dandy's as there are so many benefits - as well as helping your soil to retain moisture the mulch will break down adding nutrients. You can put your shredded tree into a composter too and use the compost for your plants and veggies.
Don't worry about pine needles affecting the acidity of your soil or compost heap - the pH should neutralise by the time it comes to getting rid of your Christmas tree.
Feed the animals:
Christmas trees are popular form of enrichment in zoos and animal sanctuaries! Contact your nearest to see if they're accepting donations. Make a wildlife corner in your garden using the branches; these are favourites with hedgehogs!
Did you know? Elephants can eat up 5 large Christmas Trees in just one sitting!