If you’re considering buying a live small Christmas tree (in a pot or with a ball) to use inside then plant outside after the holidays, here are some tips to ensure it survives. It will probably be a spruce, fir or pine.
1. Acclimate it – if it’s been outside at the store, then leave it in your garage for a few days before bringing it inside.
2. Choose its permanent home – at some point while the tree is in the garage or inside, choose where you want to plant it outside and dig a hole there (twice the size of the container). Leave the soil to the side. Cover the hole and soil with mulch or straw.
3. Keep it inside for the right amount of time – do not leave the tree in the house for more than 10 days or it will go into shock once you do plant it outside. Keep it away from heating vents, out of the sun. Some experts recommend 4 days max kept inside.
4. Water it – Do not fertilize it at all but water it daily.
5. Plant it outside at the right time – On the 4th to the 10th day of it being inside, bring it back to the garage for 2-3 days, then bring it outside and plant it immediately, or you can wait a day or two.
6. Plant it properly – Fill the hole around the tree with dirt and use organic root stabilizing fertilizer if desired. Water if the ground is not completely frozen. Watering often is not imperative because winter ground has moisture.
7. Watch it grow for years to come! Maybe you’ll decorate it next year!