If you are about to go out and buy your Christmas tree, think twice about buying a cut tree that will barely last through the festive season in South Africa’s hot Christmas weather.
Buying a live tree, that you can plant out in the garden when Christmas is over, is definitely a green alternative. Some people have one that they plant out and dig up year after year successfully.
But why not go one step further along the alternative tree route? Does your Christmas tree even have to be a traditional pine or spruce? Why not buy a large indigenous tree in a container, ready for planting out in your garden in the New Year, one that will take a permanent place in your garden.
While not all indigenous trees can take the strain of being loaded down with Christmas ornaments and sparkling lights, some of them are sturdy enough to consider, especially if you go for a more stylish and minimal style of decoration!
An important thing to consider if you are going for a live Christmas tree – it will need watering regularly over the Christmas period to keep it healthy enough to plant out later. Make sure that you position a drip tray under its pot so that your pile of presents doesn’t get sodden before Christmas Day!
Another issue in the winter rainfall area of South Africa is that mid-summer isn’t really an ideal planting out time for large trees. Your Christmas tree will need lots of TLC after Christmas, with regular watering to help it adjust and settle in through the hot weather. Consult your large tree nursery to get advice on how to make this work for you.
With all that said however, there is something lovely about choosing a Christmas tree that makes a positive contribution to the environment and isn’t just a seasonal throwaway. Enjoy your green Christmas!