8 sustainable Christmas tree choices
You can use the same tree in a container for four to seven years, depending on how fast it grows. If you intend to plant it outdoors eventually, choose a variety that thrives in your climate. And be sure that you have a sunny spot for it.
Look for landscape-grade trees (not sheared), in 5-, 7-, and 15-gallon cans.
To 70 feet tall. Sunset zones 1-9, 14-24.
Can hit 150" in height. Sunset zones A2, A3, 1-6, 14-17
A good container plant. Sunset zones 1-9, 14-24.
Grows 30 to 60 feet tall in gardens. Zones A2, 3, 1-10, 14-17.
Grows slowly to 40 to 60 feet tall. Mature trees develop flat tops. Zones A3, 2-10, 14-21.
Dwarf blue subalpine fir grows to just 3 to 4 feet tall in 10 years, ultimately reaching 6 to8 feet tall. Zones 1-9, 14-17.
Potentially a huge tree, to 80 feet or more. All zones.
A good garden tree if you have room. To 80 feet tall. Zones 2-12, 14-24.
After Christmas Move the tree outdoors to a cool bright porch for a few days to ease the transition, then move it to a protected spot outdoors where the rootball won't freeze. Water when the top two inches of soil feels dry to touch. When new growth starts in spring, feed it with controlled release fertilizer. Then plant it in the garden, or transplant into a larger, light-colored terra cotta or wood container (black plastic pots can overheat, injuring or killing roots).
Send a seedling Give a gift tree that’ll keep on giving, and growing, at Mom and Dad’s place or in a friend’s yard. Seedlings of Colorado spruce, deodar cedar, or giant sequoia (about $25 each) are available from NewGrowth, Inc., an Oregon Nursery. Plants are 1 to 2 feet tall, 2 to 3 years old; they’re gift wrapped using recyclable containers and ribbons. newgrowth.com or 800/605-7457.