Friday, 11 December 2015

Top Tips: Caring for your Christmas Tree

Paul Stone, Horticultural Team Manager at The Eden Project, shares his top tips for a healthy Christmas tree this festive season

Written by Paul Stone
christmas-tree-176Paul Stone's at The Eden Project When a Christmas tree is cut, more than half its weight is water, so maintaining a high moisture level in the tree is the most important factor. With the proper care, you can maintain the quality of your tree for several weeks. Below are five tips from Paul Stone, Horticultural Team Manager at Eden, on how to find, look after, and dispose of your Christmas tree this year:

• First off – choose the right tree. If you are going to go for a cut tree, then choose a freshly cut one (or cut one yourself). A freshly cut tree will last a lot longer than one cut weeks ago and shipped to distant retail outlets. Alternately, reduce waste and buy a potted Christmas tree, which you will be able to replant after Christmas - giving it back to nature – or keep in a container and use again the following year.

• Choose a tree that looks healthy. Don't go for a tree that has a large number of dead or browning needles – these trees are already past their best. Also, it's a good idea to gently stroke a branch to make sure that the needles are flexible and more importantly, remain on the tree! In the UK, the most common tree types are Norway Spruces, Silver Firs, Nordmann Firs, and Noble Firs.

• When you've got the tree home it's important to place it in water as soon as possible- cut the trunk and place in a bucket that is kept full of water. Most species can least 6 to 8 hours after once taken from a water source. If needed, cut trees can be temporarily stored for several days in a cool location with their trunks in water. If you have a potted tree, keep it in a cool room if possible, bring it indoors as late as you can, and do not keep inside for more than 12 days (and if it looks unhappy sooner, then put it back outside).

• Choose a space for your tree that is away from major sources of heat e.g. fireplaces, heaters, heat vents. A lower temperature in the room will slow the drying process, resulting in less water consumption each day.

• When Christmas is over, if you've had a cut tree, it's important to consider how you will dispose of it. We suggest you recycle your tree – most councils provide this service free of charge, please visit your local authority's website for more information. Alternatively, some tree-sellers provide a disposal service when you buy your tree, like Eden. If you buy a cut tree from us, we will mulch your returned tree down to become compost to help us grow more amazing plants here at Eden.

Paul Stone is the Horticultural Team Manager at The Eden Project:

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