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Alberta spruce conica perfecta would look great outside your front door.

Alberta spruce conica perfecta would look great outside your front door.

Christmas trees in pots last for many a festive display

Richard Wright

[email protected]

Tuesday, December 19, 2017 - 13:30

ODD, isn’t it how each year we buy Christmas trees sentencedto death at a time of celebration of a marvellous new life?

I picked up a beautiful potted spruce for just £8 the otherday at one of the Island cut-tree specialists but there still seems to be amarked reluctance to bring a living tree into the house — which, on the face ofit, may seem a trifle strange.

I suppose it is the fact the 12 days of Christmas are nowmultiplied three-fold and that length of time in the aridity of a lounge wouldprobably do for it,

A potted spruce is best as a subsidiary decoration to themain event. It should only be expected to put up with a few days of centralheating abuse.

Many cut trees will shed their needles BIG time althoughthere are now some brilliant varieties that cling on to them as well as aliving tree.

There are ever more types of tree out there from which tochoose as this horticultural world of ours shrinks and they provide attractivedecoration on the patio for the 11 months they are outside too.

Top of my list of potted Christmas trees is the compactoriental spruce, Aurea.

This is a slow grower and as we all know we pay for the timeit has been cared for by the nursery.

This oriental spruce remains small and compact in the longterm, and can thus be used for years as a Christmas tree.

Tree specialist Lubera sells a half metre-tall specimen for£47.50 in a five-litre pot, so be prepared to wait a while before it can carryoff lights and baubles.

The Alberta spruce conica perfecta has a final height ofbetween two and three metres and a width of between 1.2 and 1.4 metres, whichmakes it ideal for most living spaces.

It can be used in beds, borders, outdoors, in containers, orfor group plantings.

It will survive in heavy, moderately heavy, light, alkaline,slightly alkaline, neutral, acidic or slightly acidic soils, underlining it asa very hardy individual for shade or partial shade.

Lubera sells this spruce in a two-litre pot for £9.40 for a20cm to 30cm specimen.

The dwarf Korean fir is like its big sister, thenormal-sized Korean fir, absolutely hardy.

Suitable as a potted Christmas tree if you wanted to buy aDwarf Korean Fir in a pot the same size as a small cut tree it would be largelyunaffordable because it would take up to 15 years reach this size at a nursery.

This extremely slow and compact growth is also the reasonthat even small plants are not cheap — and, therefore, they are also not foundeverywhere.

The dwarf fir has a valuable use as a second tree thatadorns the winter garden or gives the entrance of a house a festive mood ortemporarily decorates a table.

It is £26.40 in a three-litre pot

As with all potted Christmas trees, it is certainly betterif they are decorated outside in the weeks before Christmas; they then shouldonly be taken into the house for the actual Christmas celebration, then broughtback outside afterwards.

This prevents the tree from drawing the wrong conclusionsdue to the heated room, mistaking midsummer for the bleak midwinter.

If you plant potted Christmas trees or one of the larger ormore compact conifers there are a few things to keep in mind.

A crucial one is: “How big will it get?”

You should ensure even dwarf conifers should not behard-pressed by other plants; due to their low growth, they then quicklydisappear between other plants and get bare completely or on one side.

Dwarf coniferous plants, including compactly growingChristmas trees, work best together individually or in small groups with otherweak-growing plants.

Columnar conifers are well suited in pairs for markingentrances, entrances or passageways.

Most conifers tolerate waterlogging poorly, so the soil mustbe well-drained, but it should not get too dry in summer either.

When planting, you can easily shake out the root ball, whichmakes it easier for the plant to spread its roots into the new soil.

Make sure the plants are not set deeper than they were inthe pot.

 


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