Tips on Caring for Your Living (Rooted) Christmas Tree

Living, Rooted Christmas trees, also called B&B (Balled & Burlapped), potted, containerized or balled trees are a great choice because you can plant them in your yard later adding to the environment!  But... there are some key tips to know to help ensure your tree will live!

 
  1. Buy a healthy tree from a reputable nursery or grower. Expect to pay a higher price than for a typical Christmas tree.
  2. Keep the tree in a shaded area or a unheated garage until it is brought inside.
  3. Keep the soil in the ball or pot moist until well after it is transplanted after Christmas. A frozen ball need not be watered if the crown is shaded and protected.
  4. Lift and carry the tree by the ball or pot, not the top.
  5. Keep the tree in the house no longer than about one week.
  6. If possible, keep room that the tree is in cool (to help prevent it from starting to bud out)
  7. Have the tree's planting hole dug before the soil freezes and keep the fill dirt thawed.  The hole should be 4 times the size of the root ball.  If the dirt was heavy clay or poor sand, be sure to improve it with amendments (manure, grass clippings, ground leaves, compost, etc.)  Evergreens like an acid soil, so don't add lime.
  8. Remove packing paper, sawdust and binding materials when planting the tree. Stake the tree for its first year, if possible.