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  Landscaping > Ornamental Trees > Living Christmas Trees

Ornamental Trees

Living Christmas Trees

Several kinds of evergreen trees can be bought as live Christmas trees and then planted after the holidays. It is important to remember that live trees take much more care than cut trees. Live trees should be kept inside no more than two weeks.


White pine
Virginia pine
Red cedar
Leyland Cypress
Canadian Hemlock
Carolina Hemlock

Note 1: Fir and spruce trees have difficulty surviving hot Atlanta summers. They are not recommended for planting in this area.

Note 2: You’ll be much more successful with smaller-sized ( 6 feet tall) trees than larger trees.


• Leave outdoors in a shady spot until mid-December. Spray foliage with an anti-transpirant such as Cloud Cover or Wilt Pruf.

• Transport indoors on December 15. A child's wagon, lined with plastic, makes a good cart. The tree can be left in the wagon or it can be set into a wide, shallow pan indoors.

• Water the root ball every day. Use at least two quarts of water each time. Pour the water slowly on top of the root ball and allow it to soak in. Do not just pour water into the pan. TIP: Put ice cubes on top of the root ball and allow them to slowly melt.

• Close all hot air vents near the tree. Try to keep the room cool for most of each day.

• Move tree outdoors by December 28. Thoroughly loosen an area six feet wide and 12 inches deep. Plant the root ball in the center. Apply lots of water. Mulch with three inches of pine straw.

• Water weekly until spring. Fertilize with liquid plant food (MiracleGro, etc.) in mid-summer.


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Prune boxwood - but not with shears. Use a hand pruner to make foliage "holes" in the greenery so light can penetrate to the trunk.

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