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Several Hill Country nurseries near Sweetwater offer living Christmas trees as a green way to celebrate the holidays.

30 November . 2017

Start a new green tradition with a Living Christmas Tree this year

We love ideas for going green at Sweetwater, where our green community initiatives include nurturing honeybees, planting wildflowers and more.

Here’s a green idea for the holidays: why not choose a living Christmas tree? You can enjoy it indoors during the holidays, then plant it in your yard and enjoy for many years to come. If you make living Christmas trees an annual tradition, you can create a green grove in just a few years. 

The best advice is to select a living Christmas tree that will thrive in our local Hill Country environment. The Natural Gardener, Spicewood Nursery and Garden-Ville are local garden centers known for their native plants and knowledgeable staff.

Your tree will experience a little stress from being moved inside, so leave it in its container and don’t disturb the roots. Use a festive tree skirt to hide the container. 

Experts recommend not keeping the tree indoors for more than 10 days, and keeping it away from direct heat  from vents and fireplaces. Also try to avoid a drafty location.

Here’s an easy way to keep your Christmas tree watered regularly: just place ice cubes on top of the soil. The roots will absorb the water as it melts.

After 10 days, take your tree outside for some fresh air and sunshine. You can plant it in the ground, but don’t try to dig it up again for next year; just get a new tree and add to your grove.

You can leave the tree in its container for another year or two, to enjoy for more holiday seasons. Water regularly and feed with a time-released fertilizer.

Once you’ve selected your tree, here are some creative DIY decorating ideas from Sunset magazine.

The decision to get a living Christmas tree can inspire new nature-focused holiday traditions, according to bestselling author Richard Louv, whose books include “Last Child in the Woods” and “Vitamin N.”

Beyond living trees, Louv suggests giving gifts such as outdoor coupon books for experiences including fishing trips, tree climbing and stargazing. He recommends holding holiday celebrations outdoors, such as a pre-feast walk through the community, or reserving a space at a nature center or park.

Read more about Sweetwater’s Living Green initiatives.