25 December 2008

Local Pennsylvania Edition: Living Tree

This holiday season my mom and her partner opted for a live Christmas tree. This tree (pictured) was purchased from Mostardi's Nursery in Newtown Square, PA, but I'm told you should be able to find them from most local orchards or nurseries. Depending on where you go the live tree can range anywhere from $50-$180. Call ahead to be sure.

The tree my mom bought is about 4 ft. tall and comes in a pot. Some come with the root ball wrapped only in burlap. In that case you would provide your own pot. To care for it properly the tree should remain outdoors when it is not being used for decoration.

It must be nurtured into the indoors. About 2 weeks before the holiday put it in a garage or covered area for about 5-7 days. Less than a week before the holiday you can start to enjoy it inside your home, but only for another 5-7 days.

Once you've celebrated the holiday, reintroduce your tree to the natural elements, which means another 5-7 days in the garage. After that time it goes back outside to a year of full sun with continuous watering. The tree can go through this process of inside/outside for 3-4 years of holiday cheer. Be prepared with a larger pot after a year or two, as the root ball could outgrow its original home. You can then plant it in your yard. If you don't have space, consider donating it to a local park or school.

If you can find a live tree in your area, I think its a great idea. I hope to get one for our house next year.

Local. Reuse. Grow.

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