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Home > Lawn & Garden Resources > Christmas at Meadows Farms > Christmas Tree Care and Selection

Christmas Tree Care and Selection

Selecting & Preserving Your Cut Christmas Tree

 Why Buy a Living Christmas Tree?

 Meadows Farms carries the widest variety of cut Christmas trees to be found anywhere in the Metropolitan area so as to provide every family with their favorite kind of Christmas tree.  Some trees do hold their needles longer than others, but it is more a matter of care and preservation measures after you get the tree home as to how long most trees can hold their needles.  Because we buy so many trees, our growers cut our trees just prior to loading them on trucks for delivery to us.  This helps insure that we always have the freshest trees possible for our customers.

Some Considerations Before Buying Your Tree

1.  Decide in advance what height tree you need.  Remember a taller tree can be cut off from the bottom and excess branches used for other decorations.

2.  If you're planning to place the tree in a corner, keep in mind that it doesn't have to be perfectly shaped.

3.  Consider how long your tree will be up, the temperature the tree will be exposed to and select the kind of tree with the needle retention you need.

Care Of Your Cut Tree

1.  Until you are ready to trim your tree, store it outside in a sheltered area (a cold garage is ideal- wind will dry out the tree).  If it is going to be a week or more before you decorate, make a fresh straight cut across the trunk about an inch up from the original cut.  This opens the tree stem so it can take up water.  Then plunge the trunk end immediately into fresh water.  Keep water above the fresh cut or a new cut will be necessary.  If the water level drops below the cut, a seal will form which does not permit the tree to take in more water.  Water consumption is related to trunk diameter and not to height.  An average tree will consume between two pints and one gallon of water per day.

2.  Your tree should be protected from freezing conditions and extreme heat at all times.  If possible bring the tree into a partially heated area (basement) the night before decoratiing.  This will help it adjust gradually to the warmer temperature.

3.  Place the tree as far away from heat sources as possible.  These elements will dry your tree and cause it to drop its needles prematurely.  Place the tree in a container or a stand that will hold water.  Do not shave the sides of the tree trunk to fit the tree into the stand.  Mix a tree preservative (sold in our garden centers) with the water as instructed on the package and water the tree daily.  Proper use of preservative and water will definitely prolong the needle retention of your tree.

Trees Available At Meadows Farms

White Pine - Holds needles longer than most trees.  Usually is not a good tree to hang a lot of heavy ornaments on.  North Carolina grown.

Fraser Fiir -  Best all-around tree sold at Meadows Farms.  Is very aromatic with good needle retention.  Very easy to hang ornaments on.  this tree is used by Farmer Bill Meadows himself and also our Christmas tree buyer at Christmas.  North Carolina Grown.

Douglas Fir - Very thick and full with good needle retention.  Easy to decorate.  Oregon grown.

 Happy Holidays from Meadows Farms!

Why Buy a Living Christmas Tree?


1.  If you are planning to add an evergreen to your landscape, you can buy one now, use it as a Christmas tree, then plant it outside.

2.  All Meadows Farms live Christmas trees are sold at half the price charged at most nurseries, therefore, the price difference in a live tree versus a cut tree is only about $10.00

3.  It is more interesting for children to have a tree that they can be planted, and they can watch it grow.

4.  You and your family can further support the ecology movement by planting a tree.

5.  A live tree will be more aromatic, will not dry out and stays fresher, thereby providing you with a safer tree.

6.  The survival rate is 8 out of 10 trees when planted outside after Christmas.

7.  Even if the tree would not survive, many people would prefer a live tree because of the aroma, freshness and additional safety of a live tree.

Care Of Your Living Christmas Tree Before Taking It Indoors

1.  Put the tree in a protected area such as a carport or garage so that the rootball will not freeze - or

2.  Leave tree out and cover rootball with an old rug, straw, leaves or other mulch material.

3.  Tree does not have to be waterd during this time.

Care Of Your Living Christmas Tree Indoors

1.  Various containers can be used for your living Christmas tree.  One of the best is the "saucer" sled; it can be easily "scooted' around until you have it in the position you desire.  Also, any metal or plastic container or basket can be use.  Half whiskey barrels are excellent.

2.  It is not absolutely neccessary for the tree to be watered, but it would be best to keep one inch of water in the bottom of the container.

3.  Your tree should not be kept indoors more than ten to twelve days.

Planting Your Living Christmas Tree

1.  Since the ground may be frozen after the holidays, select the spot where you'll want to plant the tree soon after binging your tree home.  Dig the hole right away, placing the soil removed from the hole in a container, and place it in the garage.  then you are all ready to plant the tree, following the usual procedure when the holidays are over - or ...

2.  You can select the spot here you'll want to plant the tree and cover the area with leaves, straw, wood chips, or other mulch material.  Cover this with burlap to keep it from blowing away.  this cover will prevent the ground from freezing if the temperature should drop and you'll be able to plant your tree as soon as the holidays are over - ...

3.  If the ground has frozen and you did not prepare the gournd beforehand, the tree can be kept in a protected area until the ground thaws.  Don't expose the roots or they'll dry out and die.  Stand the burlapped earth ball in a tub and pack damp soil or peat moss around it.

4.  When it's time to plant:  leave the burlap on, being careful not to disturb the root system.  Set earth ball into ground so that top of ball is slightly above ground level.  Fill hole with good topsoil.  Mixing topsoil with soil to hold moisture is very good.  Firm soil around tree.  Use 2-3 inches of mulch.  Tree should be staked so that winds will not blow it over.

Happy Holidays from Meadows Farms