Planting and Storing a Live Christmas Tree

Enjoy decorating, then keep the tree

1. Limit Your Display Time

Live trees can't stay in the house very long. They can only handle 3-4 days. Bring your tree inside just before Christmas, and take it back outside as soon as possible.

2. Storing Your Tree

Your live Christmas tree will do fine outside if you can't plant it immediately. Just store it in a sheltered area behind a fence or on the north side of your house. Continue to add water to the container or root ball once a month, until it's frozen.

3. Dig Before the Freeze

To avoid trying to dig a hole in frozen soil, dig a hole the same depth as and twice as wide as the root ball way in advance, before the ground freezes. Cover the soil you dig out with a tarp, and cover the hole with some plywood. When you're ready to plant, the hard part of the job will already be done.

4. Planting Your Tree

Mix compost or garden soil, such as Miracle-Gro® Garden Soil for Trees, Shrubs, and Ornamentals, in a 50:50 ratio with the soil you removed from the hole. Place your tree in the hole. The soil line should be slightly higher than ground level. If your live tree is balled-and-burlapped, remove the burlap from the top of the root ball, and fill the hole with your soil mixture. Tamp the soil gently with your foot to remove any air pockets around the root ball.

5. Water and Feed

Give your tree a thorough watering after planting. Be sure to keep your tree watered, especially during warm spells when the ground thaws. Then, when the ground and root ball completely thaw in the spring, give your tree a big, long drink of water and feed it with Miracle-Gro® Evergreen Fertilizer Spikes. Continue to keep your tree well-watered throughout the growing season.