Alternatives to the Traditional Christmas Tree

Consider a living tree to decorate this holiday season — Colorado and Alberta spruce are two great traditional choices.  If you want to be daring here are some fun alternatives:

  • Citrus already decorated with fruit, Japanese maples or Strawberry Tree, whose branches already have red and orange hanging “ornaments”
  • A holly plant
  • A blooming Yuletide camellia whose bright red single flowers may well be decoration enough, or
  • A fruiting olive
  • Spiral clipped Boxwood
  • Bay Laurel makes a beautiful container plant.
    They can be trained to form a small tree, cone, or remain as a bush.

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Meyer Lemons
All of these possibilities would make great landscape plants at the season’s end. If there’s no room in your garden, consider a bonsai plant, or how about donating your plant to the garden of a local school, park or church? What a great way to green our communities.

Here are some helpful hints to keep your living Christmas tree healthy and happy.

This is a hard one-try to minimize its indoor time. A week to ten days is a good maximum to be in the house. Choose a well-lit area away from the heat of a fireplace or furnace. Protect the floor with a cork trivet topped with a large saucer to catch the watering water. In between deep waterings water your plant with ice cubes that slowly melt (helpful hint: use a turkey baster to relieve excess water from the saucer after the plant has had an hour or so to reabsorb it).

Decorate with small lights and light-weight ornaments.