Grow A Christmas Tree At Home - Start From Seedling Or Plant A Living Tree

A Christmas Tree Farm
(Image credit: MMarieB)

If you are looking for an unusual Christmas project, why not grow a Christmas tree at home? You can start it from a seedling or plant a living Christmas tree you buy. If you’re interested you’ll need information on how to grow a Christmas tree as well as living Christmas tree care. Read on for more about living Christmas trees.

Grow a Christmas Tree at Home

The easiest way to grow a Christmas tree at home is to start with a living tree. It’s easy these days to find potted pine or spruce trees for sale just before the holidays, and they are popular. But not everybody who buys one plants it afterward. Rather, some people purchase living trees because, with water, they stay fresh longer than cut trees.

However, if you have the space in your backyard, it’s a nice idea to plant the living tree after Christmas. One important step before buying a living Christmas tree to plant is to make sure the species will survive in your area. Whether you live in the mountains or the lowlands, pick an evergreen with a native range that is similar. 

Be sure to use the best living Christmas tree care while the tree is in the house for the holidays. It will need water, but not too much. It’s also important to keep the tree away from the fireplace and heaters. 

Plant a Christmas Tree in the Backyard 

Another key to helping your living Christmas tree survive is to limit its time in the house to a week or so. You don’t want it to get used to warm weather. If it is extremely cold outside, let the tree stay in an unheated garage for a few weeks after it leaves the house before you plant it. 

When it’s time to plant, select a spot that’s large enough for the tree at its mature size; ideally, a spot protected from wind. Work an area of soil four times the size of the rootball to a depth of 6 inches (cm.), then dig a hole in the middle the size of the rootball. Break up massed roots on the exterior of the root system before planting the tree. 

Smooth the soil to the level of the top of the roots. When you are done, layer several inches of mulch on the top and water well. Do not fertilize when planting, but remember to do it in spring.

Christmas Tree Sapling Care

If you opt instead for buying and planting a young sapling, “how to grow a Christmas tree” takes on another meaning. You will need to learn all about Christmas tree sapling care. To start, plan on buying the sapling in spring and planting it immediately. This gives it the best chance at survival.

Plant the sapling in a sunny spot where there is ample topsoil and excellent drainage. If you are planting more than one, give each ample elbow room to grow to mature size. Include a slow-release fertilizer in the planting hole, then fertilizer annually with a balanced product.

When you grow a Christmas tree at home from a sapling, you may not see the tree shoot up as quickly as you would like. The tree will concentrate its energy in root development the first few years. After that, you’ll see it developing in size. 

Teo Spengler

Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.