December "The Year of the Living Christmas Tree"
If you don’t like the idea of cutting down a conifer, there is always the option of a live tree. Just know there are some VERY important considerations to make before you buy one. Most conifers used as Christmas trees come from cool regions and are adapted to full sun. This means that they’re not going to like the low humidity, warmth and overall lack of light that we humans prefer indoors. Choose a small tree -- it will be lighter and easier to move -- and bring it indoors to the brightest possible spot in the house. Make sure it’s a good distance from central heat or fireplaces and woodstoves (it may ruin the picture, but it will save the tree).
Water ONLY by placing a mulch of ice cubes around the base of the tree (you don’t want to stimulate it out of dormancy). Repace the cubes every other day or so. Feel free to keep the tree inside for a week or two, max, before moving it outside; if you live in a very cold place, let it acclimate to the cold for several days in an unheated sunporch before taking the plunge. Oh, is it too late to mention that you should have dug the hole
in the fall before the ground froze?
Copyright © 2003 National Public Radio, Washington, D.C.