Now that the holidays are over, you’re probably wondering what to do with your tree. Don’t throw it away just yet! If you have the area, plant it! This could be a great tradition for a couple’s first tree being married or a tree for each baby’s first Christmas. It’s a great way to give back to the environment because you’re giving the tree a new life.
● Plan it out. You can’t just plop it in a spot and hope for the best. This tree will be in your yard for many years to come. When you’re figuring out the place, keep in mind how big the tree and the roots will get. Don’t plant it too close to the house to avoid damage when the roots have established themselves.
● To prevent transplant shock, about an hour before you plant the tree water the pot. Watering the roots will loosen up from the walls allowing for easy removal.
● Move the tree out from the container instead of by the trunk or branches.
● When digging the hole, make sure it’s as deep as the pot. The roots will have taken up the entire space of the container. It also needs to be 2 or 3 times as wide as the container.
● Put the tree and pot on its side to remove it. With the fresh watering, the tree should come out after a tap or two on the bottom.
● Remove any dead or squishy root because they won’t grow in the ground properly. In the root ball, make vertical cuts along the sides as well as an X-shape on the bottom. These cuts loosen up the dirt.
◦ There may be more roots than you thought, so you might need to dig the hole a little bigger.
● By putting the tree in the ground, make sure the roots meet the trunk, or they are slightly above the ground. Keeping the tree upright, fill in the soil around the tree, packing it down to remove any air pockets.
● Finish it up with adding about 2 or 3 inches of mulch and add water. Since January is out of season for planting trees, make sure to keep an eye on the tree during snowstorms. Come Spring, your tree might need a little extra TLC.