Celebrating the season with a live tree is a great tradition, creating lasting memories while doing something good for the planet. At Down To Earth, we are proud to support Oregon tree farmers, bringing you the best in hand-selected trees that are delivered fresh to our nursery for the holiday season. Whether you plant your tree in the garden or landscape, out in the woods, or donate it to a city park, you will be giving the planet a lasting gift.
Bringing Your Tree Indoors
The first step is to gradually introduce the tree to the change in temperature from outdoors to indoors. 3-5 days before bringing your tree indoors, move it to an unheated garage or an out building with good natural light. (If not available, a well-covered porch or enclosed patio will do). Water the tree well, and be sure to have an appropriately-sized saucer to set the tree in to avoid spills once it is brought indoors. Do not fertilize the tree before or while it’s indoors.
Caring For Your Tree Indoors
Choose a place in the house with good light. Be sure the tree is away from heat sources such as wood stoves, fireplaces, heat ducts, or space heaters. Your tree will need to stay evenly moist but not wet during its time indoors. An ideal way to water the tree is to place several large handfuls of ice on the soil surface every few days. The melting ice will keep the root ball cool and moist, as well as minimize the risk of a spill. 7-10 days is the maximum amount of time that you will want to keep the tree indoors without causing stress.
Moving The Tree Back Outside
Transition the tree back outside by moving it to the unheated garage or out building, reversing the steps you took when you brought the tree indoors. Water well, and allow the tree at least 3-5 days before moving it outside.
Planting Your Tree
Choose a site for your tree in full sun that is moderate to well-drained, keeping in mind the size of the tree at maturity. Dig a hole large enough to accommodate the root ball. Fill the hole with water and allow to drain, then place the tree in the planting hole. Cut the twine away from the trunk and remove as much of the burlap as possible. The burlap will degrade and rot away if some of it is left on. Many trees come from our grower, “ball & burlapped,” meaning they are field dug. The root mass is wrapped in burlap for ease in planting, and to ensure the tree has a good, healthy root ball.
While the tree doesn’t need to be fertilized at planting, it’s important that the root system of the tree get the best start when planted with a mycorrhizal product. Down To Earth’s Soluble Root Growth Enhancer works to increase root growth and development, improve nutrient and water uptake, and aid in minimizing effects of plant stress. It should be watered in well over the root ball and into the planting hole, ensuring good contact between the roots and inoculant. Backfill the soil dug from the hole, firming it in around the sides and top.
From all of us at Down To Earth, we wish you and your new tree the happiest of holidays.
May the new year bring new opportunities and growth.