Love Plants, the specialist plants centre based at Shrewsbury’s caravan and motorhome dealership Salop Leisure, is offering tips to shoppers as they prepare to buy their Christmas tree for the home or office.
Shoppers have a choice of freshly cut Christmas trees or potted varieties with roots in a range of species and heights. Cut trees often come with a slice of wood to stand them upright.
Love Plants stocks a large range of tree varieties and sizes, with staff are on hand to help shoppers. The wooden block stand can be removed from cut trees, if requested, to allow it to be inserted in a stand that holds water.
The tree can also be netted to assist handling and transport and staff are happy to carry the tree to a vehicle or arrange home delivery.
Trees that are either root-balled or container grown allow the purchaser to pot it on each year or plant it in their garden. Love Plants staff are happy to advise shoppers on trees to suit their requirements and to give tips on how to pot it on or plant it.
The favourite Christmas tree varieties are:
Caucasian Fir, an evergreen, densely branched and broadly pyramidal fir that retains its branches almost to the ground, even in old age. This popular fir, which can grow to 70 metres, is chosen as a Christmas tree because it retains its blue-green needles better than other varieties, especially if kept watered and away from direct sources of heat.
Norway Spruce, a conical, evergreen conifer with sweeping, curved branches that can grow up to 65m. Extensively planted for timber in many areas, it’s the species commonly used for Christmas trees.
Serbian Spruce, a slender, evergreen conifer with a spire-like crown of blue-green foliage retained almost from the ground. Can grow up to 30m and is available with roots as a container grown conifer.
Blue Spruce, widely used as a Christmas tree due to its conical habit and dense, horizontal branches which are covered with grey-green needles. It also has a high needle retention rate. One of the most ornamental of the conifers, the Blue Spruce makes a great specimen tree in parklands and garden situations and commonly grows up to 15m. Its pale brown cones are up to 10cm long.
Fraser Fir is splendid for small spaces due to its slimmer, conical shape. It also has a delicious balsam scent which fills the room for the entire festive period. The tree’s dense branches hold soft green/silver needles which are retained well. This variety should not be confused with the closely related Balsam Fir which does drop its needles easily.
Nordmann Fir is one of the most important species grown for Christmas trees, being favoured for its attractive foliage, with needles that are not sharp and do not drop readily when the tree dries out. It is also a popular ornamental tree in parks and large gardens.
Noble Fir, with its striking, blue-grey foliage and pleasant fragrance, is often the preferred species for Christmas trees. It is good for needle retention and is popular for its open branching and great shape.
Norway Spruce is the quintessential British Christmas tree with a conical shape and vibrant green, dense and spikey foliage. Water regular to ensure the best needle retention.
Care for your Christmas tree
Potted Christmas trees
Keep your tree outside until you are ready to decorate it.
Do not place near a direct source of heat, such as a radiator.
Water once a week ensuring enough water to soak through to the bottom of the pot.
After Christmas, acclimatise the tree in garage or protected area before putting outside.
Plant out in garden or re-pot into a larger pot.
Feed during growing season.
Cut Christmas tree
Store tree in cool conditions away from the wind and sunlight.
Put the base of the tree in a bucket of water to prevent dehydration.
When you are ready to put your tree up you should cut 1cm – 2cm from the base of the tree before putting it in a stand that holds water. This breaks the natural seal on the base of the trunk and allows the tree to take up as much water as it requires.
Before bringing the tree inside, hold it upright and bang the bottom of the tree onto the ground to remove any old needles.
Check the tree has water every day don’t allow it to dry out.
Once the tree is in its stand and in the correct spot, remove the netting.
Avoid placing the tree near a fire or radiator (any direct heat source) as it will dry out and drop its needles.
Love Plants stocks Nordmann Fir, Fraser Fir, Norway Spruce, Blue Spruce and Noble Fir trees, with prices starting at £22. For advice, call Love Plants on Tel: 01743 282434.
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