Watching an evergreen grow into the perfect stature to serve as your family’s Christmas tree can be a fascinating and fulfilling experience. Many people who choose this route over the option of buying a tree in December decide to do it again every year after, because there’s something special about nurturing and shaping the tree that will be the centre of attention during one of the most magical times of the year. Plus, you can make it a family hobby by growing trees of various maturities to ensure you’ll be able to harvest an ideal tree during every coming holiday season. If you’re convinced this is something you want to try, here are some useful tips for growing your own Christmas trees at home:
1. Don’t Start from Seed
It can take a very, very long time for an evergreen to reach the height of a typical Christmas tree – like 5-10 years depending on the variety. A great way to get a head start so that you’re only growing the tree for 1-4 years is to start with pre-rooted specimens from a local nursery, garden centre, or Christmas tree farm. For example, we at Carpenter’s Nursery carry several different kinds of Christmas trees in varying sizes and ages. All the hard work has already been done, so you really just have to take it home, water it, and keep it in the right conditions for growth.
2. Decide Which Type You’d Like to Grow
It’s important to research the growing characteristics and needs of the exact type of tree you’re growing. For example, the Norway Spruce will shed a lot of needles after encountering warm temperatures, so it’s best to leave this variety outside in the cold until the middle of December. Nordmann Firs are bit thicker and can hold their needles fairly well for a month or more indoors, so it’s safe to bring these inside in late November or early December. To help you start your search, here are the most popular evergreen varieties commonly used as Christmas trees:
* Firs – Nordmann, Douglas, Fraser, Gran, Noble, Balsam, Canaan
* Pines – White, Scotch, Virginia
* Spruces – Norway, White, Blue
* Cypress – Leyland, Murray, Carolina Sapphire, Blue Ice
* Cedar – Eastern Red, Deodar
3. Learn How to Water, Prune, Shear, and Shape Evergreens can get pretty wild looking without the right maintenance. Fortunately, trimming them into a Christmas tree shape is relatively easy. The watering regimen will depend on the pot size or medium you’re using to grow the tree. If using a pot, it’s wise to water whenever the top layer of soil begins to feel dry. Look for signs of dehydration like drooping branches, needle loss, and a decrease in the freshness of the tree’s odour.
Take Your Craft Seriously
As a Christmas tree cultivator, it would be a good idea to acquire a book related to caring for evergreens in order to gain a more in-depth understanding of the most important topics. As with anything else, what you put in will determine what you get out, so take the time to master the craft of growing evergreens and you’ll be rewarded with a harvest of impressive Christmas trees year after year.