Anyone with space in the garden and a little patience can grow his own Christmas trees. It takes eight years for the first tree to be tall enough, but it’s rewarding.
If a homeowner has a bit of extra space in his garden, he can light up his family’s own trees inside year after year, by starting a Christmas tree plot.
The key is to plant a new sapling each spring or fall to replace the one he cut on Christmas Eve. If he begins planting in the spring, he can expect to have his first Christmas tree in six to eight years. Plant one every spring thereafter. The family will love cutting down their very own tree from their own little Christmas tree forest.
Choose the Right Evergreen Sapling
The best variety of evergreens for an indoor Christmas tree is the fir tree. It’s a native tree in southern regions. It’s light, which is perfect for a private plot. It rarely sheds its needles and it stays fresh and scented throughout the holidays.
For people living further north, pick the Balsam Fir. It has similarities to other firs, but it is a hardier evergreen. It needs cold winters and warm summers to do well.
White Spruce is another popular Christmas tree. The crown is cone-shaped with full growth and has the pungent aroma associated with Christmas. White spruce holds its needles better than other spruces, but if the family has heavy ornaments, pick blue spruce. The branches are stronger.
How to Grow a Christmas Tree
Good soil management and care for growing trees could shorten the time needed for height.
Both fir and spruce trees grow best in loam and clay or both as long as the soil is fertile and has enough moisture to sustain it.
They don’t like their roots sitting in water, so drainage is another important aspect to consider when planting firs. It’s not advisable to plant them in a low-lying area of the garden. These areas generally don’t drain well.
The hole should be deep enough to allow the roots room to spread without twisting or bumping into other trees. Evergreens survive best if their root systems have free reign. Once planted, pack the soil around with your hands to prevent drying and to ensure the roots have contact with the soil for moisture.
Don’t give the trees competition with weeds and other vegetation. Consider planting this little forest with the trees spaced about 8′ apart and cover the whole area with cedar mulch. This will discourage weeds and help to retain moisture in the soil.
Shape the Christmas Tree
Shape the Christmas tree every year in mid-summer, beginning when they’ve reached three to four feet in height. This ensures the pyramid or cone shape and will give the trees density as new branches form in those trimmed areas.
Growing Christmas trees is fun for the whole family. It’s something to be started while the children are infants, so they will experience a wonderful childhood tradition, taking that tradition with them when they start their own families.
- Taylor’s Guide to Trees and Shrubs, Norman Taylor, Houghton Mifflin, 1988
- Reader’s Digest Practical Guide to Home Landscaping, Reader’s Digest, 1972