Aftercare of Living Pot-Grown Christmas Trees

If you purchased a living pot-grown tree, it’s easy to transplant them on into the garden or suitable site. Follow these handy tips:

1. While indoors keep your tree in the coolest room possible. Ideally pot grown trees should not be kept inside any longer than the traditional twelve days of Christmas.

2. Trees can be potted on into larger containers if you wish to retain for inside use again next year. Use John Innes No. 3 with a rich mix of compost or manure. Water well and maintain schedule during summer months. Locate in a sheltered spot, ideally not in full sun: best placed if possible within the border. Feed regularly with general NPK fertiliser during growing season.

3. If you would prefer to place in the ground, choose a sheltered spot. Always assess the eventual size of your specific tree prior to planting and maintain distance from buildings if you have a large specimen. There is a vast variety from Cedar to Spruce so be informed. Most are unfussy about soil, sun, shade but are generally woodland plants so prefer to be grouped with other plants for shelter.

4. Keep off the soil if frozen or wet. A clear, dry day when the soil is moist is ideal. Dig a large hole about a third bigger than the size of your root-ball. Fork over the subsoil to assist drainage. Add grit or sharp sand if waterlogging occurs. Tease out roots or cut excess cleanly with sharp secateurs if pot bound. Mix well rotted compost or manure with back fill soil. Place tree in position, checking all sides and evaluate level - usually flush to ground with approximately 1cm cover. Back fill slowly firming layers as you go and continuously checking vertical and ground levels.

5. The result should be a stable tree with best face forward and plenty of room for growth. Consider outdoor lights for next year. Very little pruning is required. Simply remove dead or diseased branches or overgrowth while maintain overall shape of tree. Take professional advice if unsure of any aspect of species, planting or care.

For more information on planting trees visit

Trees without roots that are specifically grown and harvested for Christmas can be recycled or shredded for mulch. Green bin permits can allow for collection. Alternatively take them to tip. Visit for more information. Don’t forget to consider Treecycle, in aid of LOROS on Monday 9th January for specific Harborough postcodes. Check or call 0116 231 8432 for more information and how you can help.

Visit the Langton Greenhouse and Garden Centre to pick up a leaflet, information and advice. Merry Christmas!

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