If I have the choice, it's always for a live Christmas tree. Nothing beats the smell and look of a real one. But, when we lived in Papua New Guinea and Yemen, a little fake one had to make do, but honestly, it's just not the same.
Since we hope this little guy will be apart of our family Christmas's for many years to come, we decided to name him. Please meet 'Bruce the Spruce'. I told you last week that I'd share a little more about our Christmas tree this year and how we are caring for it. We decided to try a potted Christmas tree. The hope is that we will get to use the same tree for a few years in a row. Each Christmas we will bring the tree inside, but the rest of the year, it will live outside in a shady part of our yard. It was not easy to find a live evergreen here in Bakersfield. But, the only nursery in town to carry some had a couple varieties of Colorado Blue Spruce. I love the color of it's needles. They are a gorgeous silvery, muted green.
I bought the tree in what they call "Ball and Burlap", which just means the root ball in contained in burlap. This tree is a 4-5 ft. tree and cost about $70, which isn't much more then a cut tree in Southern California.
I found a large enough pot and Home Depot for just $14.99, it's black plastic, but the price was right and I think it looks pretty sharp. I really didn't want a ceramic pot that would just add more weight to this already VERY heavy tree. With both Lon and I and the help of a skateboard, we barely got it in the house. That root ball is like solid cement.
Keep reading for potting and care instructions.
Ok, so here's a little instruction on potting and caring. First, find a large enough pot for the tree. Peel back the burlap around the base of the trunk to expose the soil, but don't remove the burlap from the sides and base of the ball. Place the root ball in the pot and fill in the pot with good potting soil. Water the tree with ice, this will help keep the tree cooler while it's inside and allow it to be watered over time. I've found that the first couple of days the tree took about 4 cups ice everyday, and now that the tree is 3 1/2 weeks in the hour, it seems to only be needing about 4 cups of ice every other day. The folks at my local nursery said to just watch if the tree starting dropping a lot of needles. Sometimes this can mean that the tree is too warm or needs more water. So far, Bruce is happy. Fingers crossed that we can keep him alive.
What kind of tree do you have this year? Are you a live or fake tree family?