If you’ve made your decorations (see our how to here) and would like a real tree to hang them from, you may be wondering what type to buy. To help you, I asked my friend Simon Maughan, who, together with his father Pete, owns Frenchay Christmas Tree farm just outside Bristol.
‘You have a choice of the popular non-drop needle types, which include all fir trees, such as the Nordmann and Fraser Firs, or opt for the more traditional spruces, which will drop their needles more rapidly, but have a lovely Christmassy scent,’ explains Simon. ‘The firs are a great choice if you have children or pets who are likely to knock the tree about a bit.’
‘But, if you want a traditional spruce, you can prevent the needles dropping by buying a tree that’s been freshly cut, and keeping it in a bucket of water in the garden until about a week or so before Christmas. If the tree is not freshly cut, trim a few centimetres off the end when you get it home. In either case, keep your tree in water – we sell Krinner tree stands that have a large built-in reservoir and keep trees looking good throughout the festive season.
‘If you want a tree in a pot to plant out and keep for another year, look for those labelled ‘pot-grown’, rather than simply potted. Pot-grown trees should have a good root system and can be planted in the garden after Christmas, or potted on in spring into a larger container filled with ericaceous compost and some all-purpose granular fertilizer.’
As well as using organic growing methods at his farm, for each tree sold, Simon makes a donation to charity and has raised over £11,000 since 1999. This year he’s supporting the Cystic Fybrosis Trust.
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Zia Allaway, Garden Expert
View all posts by Zia Allaway, Garden Expert