My potted Christmas tree

My potted Christmas tree

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It is the star of Christmas decoration: the fir tree. This year, to replace the traditional spruce or Nordmann cut, we suggest you opt for a tree in good shape and with all its roots: a potted tree! A "natural", sustainable and decorative alternative for the holiday season.

The advantages of the "living" tree

The potted fir represents several significant advantages, at a time when we are trying to have a more responsible consumption.

  • It can be kept for several years and thus become the symbol of your winter family celebrations, while decorating the garden or porch of your house the rest of the year.
  • It can be replanted in a larger pot, or even in the ground.
  • From an ethical point of view, it is no longer a common consumer product that is grown to cut it and then thrown away when the party is over. Buying a living tree can participate in the fight against deforestation, on condition of ensuring its origin: it must then come from a nursery equipped with production areas specially intended for production for the holidays. Note that this is generally the case for cut fir trees sold in garden centers for Christmas, they are not cut wildly in the forests!
  • You will be able to savor its good smell so typical even longer since its thorns do not dry.

A growing plant

"For a 125 cm tree, plan a 50 liter pot from the start," advises Yannick Ferraty, garden manager of the Ferme de Gally in the Yvelines, who specifies that beyond 2 meters, on the other hand, it must be in "coupe" version. "To assure it good years of life, you will then have to repot it in a pot of 20 to 30 cm in additional diameter".

When repotting, opt for a wooden or terracotta container, but avoid plastic pots which could burn the roots (cold or hot) and which stop any evapotranspiration necessary for the well-being of the plant.

Start by pouring clay balls or gravel for drainage at the bottom of the pot, then place a geotextile felt on top to isolate the soil above, whose ideal mixture is half earth and half potting soil. Finally, take the opportunity to offer your tree a supply of coniferous fertilizer in March-June-September, this will allow it to start growing again in good conditions, and do not forget to water it regularly, around twice a week.

Be careful, the roots can be cramped or dry out in the pot; if they are too damaged, rooting in the ground will be all the more complicated. Trimming them a little during repotting may sometimes be necessary to restore their vigor.

It is also possible to make a hole in the ground wider and deeper than the pot, to place your fir tree in it and to surface widely with rich soil. It will then be enough to "dig it up" just at Christmas time!

If you have to repot your tree every year after Christmas because it grows very well, don't forget that it will be more and more difficult to transport… You can then think beforehand about the place it will occupy in the garden or on your terrace, so as to position it in a strategic angle of view facing a window or a bay window, to continue to associate it with the spirit and decoration of Christmas even if you can no longer bring it in.

The potted tree: the Christmas guest star…

When purchased, it can be in clod or container. What is the difference ? The Nicolas Hulot foundation specifies that in a ball, the tree is "conditioned with its roots surrounded by soil in a tontine or in plastic; this allows it to be kept longer and possibly replanted" while in a container, "it is shoveled, then put in a pot with its roots and clod of earth, or directly planted and raised in its pot;… The root thus remaining intact, it can be replanted with better chances of recovery. "

When you return from the florist, check that the size of the pot is adapted to that of the tree. Repot it if necessary according to the advice given above, then leave it as long as possible where it is best: outside! For its well-being, do not return it to the living room to decorate it until the last moment, ie only a few days before Christmas. And in the same way, do not wait too long after the holidays to bring it out, and repot or replant it. This naturally leads to the return of the true traditions of end-of-year celebrations, to the ephemeral values ​​of the season!

"Beware of the temperature variations which weaken it during these interior-exterior journeys," points out Yannick Ferraty. "Other. Another solution: surround it with winter veil for a few weeks to make the transition."

Keep this reference in mind: one week, maximum two indoors. During these 15 days, spray it daily to prevent the roots from drying out and keep the substrate moist. Finally, heating and decoration put your tree severely tested, move it away from south-facing windows and radiators, reserve a space out of drafts and "apart" where it will be pampered.

Adopt a baby tree

A fir tree is a plant that grows slowly, so to test the concept, you can first opt ​​for a small tree from 35 to 50 cm. He will have time to grow at home and with your children. Ideal for city dwellers, it helps keep the symbol of fir and Christmas and it offers an alternative to synthetic fir.

Thanks : Yannick Ferraty, garden manager at Ferme de Gally.