For an authentic Christmas, there's nothing like a real tree! Cut, in root balls or in pots, the natural Christmas tree is available in different versions that are more or less easy to preserve.
Natural or artificial Christmas tree? Pros and Cons
In recent years, there has been a lot of criticism of the ecological impact of natural Christmas trees. Certainly, the monoculture of fir trees and the use of chemical fertilizers have a harmful impact on the environment. However, a cut tree is much less polluting than an artificial tree! While the latter can be used several years in a row, it is usually changed every 3 to 5 years: which is far too short for an object made entirely of plastic. Natural fir remains the most environmentally friendly solution, if only because it is completely biodegradable.
Entirely biodegradable, the natural tree remains the most ecological solution! Copyright (c) 2022 Maryna_Auramchuk/Shutterstock. No use without permission.
What is the best species for a Christmas tree?
There are many explanations for the origin of the Christmas tree, ranging from pagan traditions to Christian interpretations. However, all sources say it: the traditional Christmas tree is the spruce! Appreciated for its rounded habit and strong smell, it immediately creates a festive atmosphere.
Although it is still appreciated, the spruce (Picea abies) is now in competition with other fir species, in particular the Nordmann fir (Abies Nordmanniana) which is popular for its long life. It has the particularity of not losing its needles, which makes it a particularly durable and practical Christmas tree.
Another interesting variety, the Nobilis fir, or noble fir (Abies procera), also retains its needles very well, which have a nice bluish-green hue. Larger than a Nordmann, it is reserved for the most spacious interiors.
When should I buy my Christmas tree?
A Christmas tree can be kept for a longer or shorter period of time depending on the species chosen and its presentation. Unless you opt for a potted tree, which can be bought all year round and kept outside until Christmas, it is advisable to buy your tree as late as possible so that it lasts until the New Year.
Particularly hardy, Nordmann and Nobilis fir trees can be purchased up to 4 weeks before Christmas. For a spruce tree, it's best to wait until the week before New Year's Eve to be sure that it will keep its needles until New Year's Eve. Of course, a tree with a root ball will last longer than a cut tree, and can be repotted or planted in the ground after the holidays.
How do you take care of a real Christmas tree?
For a Christmas tree that stays beautiful throughout the holidays, there are a few rules to follow. First of all, you should know that a tree, cut or not, does not like high heat or air that is too dry: you should therefore install your Christmas tree away from heaters, stoves and other fireplaces.
By taking care to unplug the string lights beforehand, you can spray water 2 to 3 times a week on the branches of your tree to help it keep its moisture. Another technique is to soak the trunk of your cut tree in water before placing it on its half log. Note that there are also bases with integrated water tanks to better preserve your cut tree!
What to do with your Christmas tree after the holidays?
In most cities, Christmas tree collections are organized in order to recycle this green waste. Copyright (c) 2021 Lightspruch/Shutterstock. No use without permission.
Unless you plan to plant or repot your tree, you will need to get rid of your cut tree after the holiday season... And all this in an eco-friendly way! In most cities, Christmas tree collections are organized in order to recycle this green waste. If not, chances are you'll be able to take it back to the garden center where you bought it!
If you have a garden shredder, you should know that you can obtain an interesting acidifying mulch with your used Christmas tree to spread at the foot of heather plants! In any case, the landfill should be considered only as a last resort. Also avoid using your tree as firewood, as softwoods are not at all suitable for this purpose.