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Old 11-22-2007, 04:25 AM   #11
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my Tree expert friend said:

As a general rule, trees don't like being brought inside. Iin bonsai, the rule of thumb is, for every day inside, a tree needs 5 days outside to recover.

The absolute worst time of year to bring a tree inside is winter. The tree (even conifers) will have gone into dormancy (or very slow 'tickover' metabolism) and bringing it into a warm, centrally heated (i.e. extremely dry) environment demands water from the leaves (or needles) that the roots can't supply because the tree is dormant.

Sometimes the warmth can trigger a false spring, in which case, the tree will begin growing and then putting it outside in freezing temperatures will kill it.

I say all this just to show that the odds are stacked against your mate. However, there are some things that can be done do to increase his (or her) odds.

1) Make sure the tree is properly potted. Many of these 'potted live' trees have just been ripped from the ground and have no useful roots to speak of. These trees will hold their needles for longer than cut trees, but will still invariably die.

2) Make sure it hasn't been sprayed with one of those 'anti needle-shedding' sprays (that stop christmas trees shedding all over the place). It's essentially a laquer that stick the needles to the tree but will clog the pores and will suffocate it.

3) Place it as far away from radiators or other sources of dry heat as possible.

4) Spray with a fine mist of water at least twice a day to keep up the humidity around the needles.

5) Don't let the soil in the pot dry out (aim to keep it damp, not wet).

6) Keep it inside for as short a time as possible.

7) When putting it out, don't put it straight out into a freezing frosty garden. Put it in a well lit but sheltered area (south facing wall), out of any harsh winds and protect it from hard freezing for the rest of that winter.

8) If it makes it that far, put it into prepared ground in early spring (late Feb. Early March).
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Old 11-22-2007, 04:45 AM   #12
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Thanks Auntdot
That might be what I am doing wrong. I think I will try putting it outside at the end of January instead of March. I know it will still be in the house for longer than a week, but I like to have it in the house until Chirstmas is well and truely over.

I put all dead plants, vegetable trimmings and fruit peal in the garden Bilby. I put some of them at the bottom of pots in which I am going to plant something.

Mel
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Old 11-22-2007, 04:52 AM   #13
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Thanks YT
If this tree survives it will be the first time ever I managed to keep one alive.
Hopefully having all this information will be what it takes but I think u are right, the odds are against it because I want to keep it in the house for the entire Christmas season. It makes me feel cheerful. I am planning to buy it today and Christmas is not properly over until the end of January.

Mel
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Old 11-22-2007, 06:38 AM   #14
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Oh, deary me. There is a big difference in pine trees. A Norfolk pine is a tropical plant, others are cold weather plants. BIG difference. Norfolk pines have to come in after the first sign of frost, others can live outside.
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Old 11-22-2007, 07:16 AM   #15
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I put some of them at the bottom of pots in which I am going to plant something.

Mel
Oh! I put cleaned small cat food tins at the bottom of my pots. The rust seems to help quite a few plants. Have to try the peelings too! Thanks for the tip.
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Old 11-22-2007, 10:40 AM   #16
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Claire, I think it is called a Norway spruce.

Bilby that rust idea sounds good. Maybe plants need a lot of iron. I could feed some tins to the plants as well as vegetable trimmings instead of tossing them in the recycling.
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Old 11-22-2007, 10:50 AM   #17
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Aunt Dot is exactly right with her directions, except that you might want to harden the tree off in a protected place for a few days before you put it in the hole.
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Old 11-22-2007, 10:55 AM   #18
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Thanks for the reply Constance.
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Old 11-22-2007, 10:56 AM   #19
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My old neighbors used to set theirs on their porch right after Christmas and the wife's father came for it in a couple weeks to plant it on his property. It wasn't in a pot though. It was wrapped up in burlap like typical of a rootball. I have no idea what kind of stand they used to keep it from tipping.
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Old 11-22-2007, 10:59 AM   #20
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Thanks Pacanis
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