Messages posted to thread:

Jacques02-Feb-02 05:31 PM EST 5b   
D02-Feb-02 05:55 PM EST   
Ed02-Feb-02 09:35 PM EST 5b   
Will Creed07-Feb-02 05:01 PM EST   
Waldo09-Feb-02 12:47 PM EST 4b   

Subject: Question re: small fir tree
From: Jacques
Zone: 5b
Date: 02-Feb-02 05:31 PM EST

Can I dig up a small fir tree (3 ft.) plant it in a large pot, and then bring it in in the fall (for christmas). And if so, when do I put it back outside in the ground, still in the pot. Do I wait 'till the frost is gone in April or May, or can I put it outside while the ground is still frozen? In other words, I want a small Xmas tree, that I can keep using, (maybe some pruning involved), until it gets too big. Any experts out there with advice on this experiment? Jacques

Subject: RE: Question re: small fir tree
From: D
Date: 02-Feb-02 05:55 PM EST

My husband claims that this is exactly what his family did. Of course who knows what type of tree it was because he is from the other side of the equator. I wonder how deep the root of a 3 foot fir go? I have a 3 1/2 foot spruce I dug up off my parent's acerage, it was 1 foot then. It is in a large (3-4 feet wide) pot and it lives over far anyway. I did it to bring it in for Christmas, but man alive is that stupid thing heavy. I hope you have a dolly. Mine is outside all year. So it freezes slowly. If you stuck it out after christmas I wonder if it would freeze too fast? Now I'm curious... Maybe put it out slowly, garage first? Sorry, I am not the expert you were looking for, but good luck.

Subject: RE: Question re: small fir tree
From: Ed
Zone: 5b
Date: 02-Feb-02 09:35 PM EST

Another non-expert submitting his 2 cents worth. A 3- footer already requires a pot size that is cumbersome to handle as indicated in the above response. If successful in putting a tree through such an unnatural ordeal, the tree will require repotting as it becomes larger; there is a limit to restraining growth by pruning. Living Christmas trees are a promotion gimick by some nurseries that are willing to let unsuspecting customers discover, too late, that the trees were missing the price tag warning " caveat emptor " !

Subject: RE: Question re: small fir tree
From: Will Creed
Date: 07-Feb-02 05:01 PM EST

Trees that are native to areas that have sub-freezing winters will not survive if kept indoors in winter. These trees require sub-freezing temps in winter.

On the other hand, indoor or house plants are nearly always of tropical origin where they have warm temps year round, just like our homes.

Will Creed, Horticulturist Horticultural Help, NYC Email:

Subject: RE: Question re: small fir tree
From: Waldo
Zone: 4b
Date: 09-Feb-02 12:47 PM EST

Having spent the past several years selling Christmas trees at a garden centre here in the Ottawa Valley, this is a question I get asked quite often...but usually in December! Although it can be done, I'd recommend against it. Unless you are growing native trees in pots specifically for that purpose, it's not worth the effort...for you or the tree! If it doesn't kill the tree outright, the shock of breaking dormancy will certainly set its growth pattern back tremendously. MERRY CHRISTMAS! (10 months and counting!)

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