This year instead of dragging your Christmas tree out of the house and leaving on the roadside why not plant it in your yard?  With a little planning, it can be done.

Here’s what you need to do:

Pick a spot – Before you go to the nursery, find a spot in your yard and prepare the hole. Dig a hole that is the same depth of the tree (estimate if you can) and twice as wide. Place the excavated soil in a bucket so that you can use later for backfilling. You can place in your garage or shed for later use. Also, get a bag of mulch (sweet peet or natural mulch).

Select a Tree – Since a tree will only last about 10 days indoors make sure you bring it home a couple of days before Christmas. You can also have the nursery tag one for you and have it picked up when you are ready. Get one that is burlapped or in a container. Try not to get one too big though (8- 10’) since it will be heavier to move outside and also smaller trees (5 – 6’) have a better chance of surviving when planted outside.

Indoor Care – Make sure the tree is not close to a fireplace or any vents. Place it in an area that doesn’t get much sunlight. If you want to hide the bag, get an old piece of linen fabric and place over the bag. You can water or put ice cubes in the plastic bag to keep it moist.

Decorations – You can decorate as usual, but don’t use any lights with high wattage. Keep the lighting to a minimum as it will dry out the leaves faster. In order to keep the tree from drying out, you can buy some anti-desiccant spray.

Take tree to the garage or shed – After the holidays, the tree needs to acclimate to the outdoor weather. Leave it in the garage or shed for about a week and keep it watered. When you are ready take the tree outside along with the soil you saved when you dug up the hole. When you put in the hole, make sure it’s not too deep. Should be level with the ground. After you backfill, create a berm and water for about 20 minutes until the berm is full.

If there’s too much snow on the ground put it in a container and place in the hole at an angle. This is known as heeling in. Place a layer of mulch on top. The mulch will keep it warm throughout the winter and protect its roots. You can wait until the spring to plant, but make sure it’s done as soon as the ground thaws.

By planting your tree outside you will create a haven for birds throughout the winter!

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