Living Christmas Trees

Potted Christmas tree are a new innovation in the South. This is made possible by the new varieties that will grow in our semi-tropical climate. Shady Pond Tree Farm typically has Leyland Cypress, Carolina Sapphire, Eastern Red Cedar and King William's Pine available as living Christmas trees. Planting your Christmas tree in the landscaping around your home is an excellent way to preserve those special memories.

Care Before Planting-

Completely flood the pot 3-4 times and allow the excess water to drain.

If below freezing temperatures are expected, move your Living Christmas Tree to a protected area. Keep it there while freezing temperatures continue. Return it to the outdoors as soon as the freezing temperatures end.

Do not keep your Living Christmas Tree in the pot for more than 6-8 weeks.


Choose a location that is known to be well drained and not boggy. To maximize the tree's growth, the location should be in as much direct sun as possible with no overhead obstructions. And it is best to plant your Living Christmas Tree in the dead of winter just like we do at Shady Pond. To be more specific, plant the tree on a pleasant day in January.

Dig a hole with a diameter 2-3 times larger than that of the pot. The depth of the hole should be 1-2 times deeper than the pot.

Remove as much of the grass and roots as possible while breaking the clods into a finely divided mixture.

Remove the Christmas Tree from its pot. You will probably find it to be root bound. If the tree roots are not shocked, once planted it will think it is still in the pot. Trees planted with the root mass in this condition will usually not grow at all, or will grow very slowly. Disturbing the roots signals the tree that it is no longer in the pot and that it is time to start growing again.

For smaller plants, pounding the root mass on the side of the planting hole is an effective means of disturbing the roots. Take care not to damage the trunk in the process. In larger plants, untangle the roots by hand or thrust a blunt object into the root mass. A shovel handle is a good choice. Do not cut the roots.

Fill the hole with the diggings. Plant the tree 1-2 inches deeper than it was in the pot. To prevent moisture loss due to capillary action in the potting media, be sure to cover the root mass with at least 1-inch of native soil.

Saturate the area with root growth stimulator. Be sure to follow the mixing instructions.

Support your Living Christmas Tree as necessary to prevent tipping from the wind.

Record the date and any special family circumstances that surrounded the planting of your Living Christmas Tree...Enjoy.

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