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Picea omorika (Photo: Northscaping.com)

We love the idea of the living Christmas tree for holiday décor! It’s a green alternative to cutting down trees every year and then tossing them in the landfills one month later! But here’s the biggest benefit we see: when you buy a living Christmas tree, you not only get a traditional holiday decoration; you also get a new addition to your home garden or landscape! An evergreen tree is a joyful treasure that can be enjoyed for decades to come. You can even decorate it every Christmas, after it’s been planted!

Living Christmas trees come in potted containers and can usually withstand the temperatures of the average home for the duration of the holiday season. They do require some extra care, however. Try to keep them as cool as possible; positioning them near a window will help with that. Additionally, they need to be watered regularly when in the home, to keep them healthy. Check the soil often to make sure it consistently retains some moisture.  After the holidays are over, take your tree outside and plant it in a roomy spot with plenty of space for its expansive future growth. If the ground is frozen in your area, you will need to wait to plant it. However, you should still move your living Christmas tree outdoors, to avoid any damage from long exposure to dry indoor heat.

Here are the varieties we recommend for a few weeks of indoor use, during the holidays:

Balsam Fir (Photo courtesy of Northscaping.com)

Balsam Fir (Abies balsamea): This is a delicate spire-like evergreen with soft dark green needles, growing tall and stately with straight, strong branches.

Douglas fir
(Pseudotsuga menziesii): Dense, dark fragrant foliage grows in short, tight bundles on a straight, upright trunk.

Austrian Pine
(Pinus nigra): is a fast growing, pyramidal tree when young, becoming a flat topped large tree when it matures. It’s strong, stiff branches hold clusters of dark green needles.

Nordmann Fir (Abies nordmanniana): A beautiful yet uncommon evergreen, very upright and open, spire-shaped.
Omorika Spruce (Picea omorika): A tall and narrow spire-shaped evergreen with a more delicate appearance, featuring interesting white banding on the needles.

Grand Fir (Abis grandis): This evergreen grows with a horizontal spread so that both the upper and lower sides of the branches are clearly visible. The needles have glossy dark green tops and two highly visible white lines of stomata on the undersides.

There are also several wonderful varieties that make for great outdoor holiday décor! Try one of these trees on your patio or deck!

Incense Cedar (Calocedrus decurrens):This lovely upright tree has fragrant, heavy-textured foliage and reddish-brown peeling bark, along with an excellent structure.

Deodora Cedar
(Cedrus deodara): A grand spreading tree with a broad habit of growth, pendulous branches and shimmering silvery-blue needles.

Alaskan Cedar
(Chamaecyparis nootkatensis): A medium-sized evergreen tree with a wide, pyramidal form and numerous drooping branches covered with long, flattened sprays.

Excelsa Cedar (Thuja plicata ‘Excelsa’): This small, fragrant cedar is closely related to the giant Western Red Cedar, with the same relaxed appearance.

To learn more about the benefits of living Christmas trees, please click here. To begin to order some for your landscape or home, please visit our online inventory.