Cedar trees do not care to be indoors

Published 8:15 am Wednesday, December 16, 2009

There is a cedar tree in my yard that I obtained several years ago at a Master Gardener function.

It has grown beautifully, waiting patiently for the right Christmas to be cut, adorned and admired.

I wish that I could dig it up, bring it in for Christmas and replant it later, however that won’t be possible.

Some of you will obtain a tree that will be planted later, outside after the holiday. These trees should be kept in the house for as short a time as possible.

They do not like being indoors. Put the root ball in a tub, carefully pouring the water slowly over the root ball, wetting the top as well. Be careful to put just a few inches of water in the tub.

Too much could mean suffocation. Keep checking to be sure that there is always root moisture.

These trees, as mentioned previously, do not care to be in the house. Get them out quickly. This means outside in the weather, not the garage. It is also very helpful to have the hole dug right after the tree is purchased.

If you are not able to plant immediately, at least place the tree into the hole, protecting the roots from the cold winter wind.

When you are ready to replace the soil, place the root ball about two inches above the soil line, then cover with about two inches of soil. If your soil is clay, back-fill around the tree with that soil to prevent too much water saturation. Do not fertilize now or in the spring.

For those of you who are going to enjoy a live cut tree, keep a close check on the container for proper moisture. It is recommended that a small slice be removed from the bottom of the trunk before insertion.

A dry tree is a hazard and should be removed immediately.

There are many types of trees to choose from, including the kind that can be used year after year.

Whichever your choice, enjoy the holiday, and have a very merry Christmas. You will be glad you did.

Gwen Holt is a master gardener from Isle of Wight. Her e-mail address is garden@tidewaternews.com. Virginia Master Gardeners are volunteer educators who work within their communities to encourage and promote environmentally sound horticulture practices through sustainable landscape management education and training. As an educational program of Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Master Gardeners bring the resources of Virginia’s land-grant universities, Virginia Tech and Virginia State University, to the people of the commonwealth.