Taking Care of Living Christmas Trees

Before they enter the house, most Christmas Trees need a little trim here a little tuck there.

That's not typically the case for a "living" Christmas tree.

However the stakes are much much higher.

“We had some trees that's didn't make it so we decided what the heck, let's do a different route this year. My biggest concern is I have another tree that doesn't make it, “ says Sparks resident Andy Gebhardt who says he's thinking about a living tree this year.

Gebhardt has come to the Garden Shop to get some good information on his living Christmas tree from Dale Carlon with the Community Forest Coalition.

Carlon says Gebhardt has the right to be concerned about killing the living tree because that is what typically happens.

“It's the acclimation period we are talking about. Folks just assume you can take this tree directly into the house and enjoy it,” says Carlon.

Carlon says there are many trees to choose from, Austrian Pine, Vanderwolf, Blue Spruce, Western White Pine, and Dwarf Alberta Spruce are most popular to the area.

But if you are going to do this right, Thursday night is probably the deadline so that the tree is in the house by Christmas Eve.

He suggests outside in the day, in the garage at night Thursday and Friday.

On Saturday and Sunday keep the tree in garage for a 48-hour period.

Then he says bring the tree in on Monday to decorate.

“We don't want it near a window where it is going to get hot in the day. We don't want it near a heat source where its going to get warm during the day. And with regards to watering what we recommend is ice cubes,” Carlon tells Gebhardt.

Carlon says the tree can stay indoors for 7 to 10 days, then it must go outside.

To re-acclimate the tree, Carlon says simply reverse the process.

Carlon says people are worried about not being able to replant the tree that the ground is too frozen.

He says don't worry about that because it rarely happens in Reno.

But he does suggest digging a hole the day you buy the tree, that way you'll be ready to replant it.

Living trees can range from $70 to $300.

That's why Carlon says most people don't buy a living tree every Christmas.

He says its usually reserved for a significant year like a wedding, anniversary, new home, or birth of a baby.