Screen Shot 2013-11-07 at 11.15.55 PM

How to grow your own Christmas tree

Growing your own Christmas tree is going to take a long time – usually between six and twelve years. It’s an immensely satisfying endeavour that will pay off massively when you marvel at your finished creation.

Your tree may not be ready for this Christmas – or the next – but there’s no time like the present to get started! In the meantime, we’d recommend picking up an artificial tree to tide you over for the next decade of Christmas festivities. Hayes Garden World has a number of Christmas trees that come in a variety of sizes and styles to suit your living room.

Screen Shot 2013-11-07 at 11.15.55 PM

With your temporary tree set up, you can now get started on growing your own!

Find a spot

Your tree is going to need plenty of space. Find an area of your garden that’s gets a lot of sunlight and isn’t already too cramped. We’d recommend clearing a space and getting rid of any weeds, bushes and grass that might be in the way.

Choose a seedling

Most tree nurseries will sell tree seedlings for a fair price. Buy them early and avoid planting them in the summer. The best time to start your project is between February and May.  This will give your tree the best possible start because the seedlings are less likely to overheat and dry out. Trees by Post are a UK based company that has a wide variety of Christmas tree saplings you can order online.

Planting

Dig a hole that’s big enough to let your seedling stand up straight and compact the soil tightly around it, so it remains secure.

Protect your tree

Check the area around your tree regularly to make sure it’s not under attack from weeds. If they are becoming a persistent problem, you can spray pesticides around the area in early autumn and spring to take care of them. You’ll want to make sure no other vegetation gets in the way of your growing tree, so keep your lawn clipped back to help it through these early stages.

If you start to encounter problems with insect infestations or fungicides, make sure you use chemicals that won’t harm your Christmas tree further. Read the label carefully before you start applying them.

Shearing

Once you pass the four year mark, your tree should be making good progress.  However, to achieve that traditional Christmas tree shape, you’ll have to start shearing it annually. While it may seem initially terrifying to start hacking away at your labour of love, it’s actually very simple. Take your time and gradually cut away branches until you’ve achieved the correct form. Sometimes, watching a professional do it can make the process seem a lot less daunting. There are a number of YouTube videos that demonstrate how easy it is.

Once you’ve reached this point, the tree should be able to look after itself. Groom it every year and keep a close eye on it during the winter. You don’t want the weight of the snow damaging the branches you’ve so lovingly sculpted.